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Corruption as an immanent feature of neoliberalism

It is possible to drain the swamp?

News Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Recommended books Recommended Links "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Senator Bob Menendez
Corporatism Casino Capitalism Neoliberal Brainwashing Neoclassical Pseudo Theories  Corruption of Regulators New American Militarism Anatol Leiven on American Messianism
Financial Crisis of 2008 as the Crisis of Neoliberalism and shift to neo-fascism Two Party System as polyarchy Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Ayn Rand and Objectivism Cult The Deep State Harvard Mafia Deconstructing neoliberalism's definition of 'freedom'
Elite Theory The Iron Law of Oligarchy Compradors Fifth column Color revolutions Anti-globalization movement Inverted Totalitarism
Super Capitalism as Imperialism Media-Military-Industrial Complex If Corporations Are People, They Are Psychopaths Jeremy Grantham On The Fall Of Civilizations Psychological Warfare and the New World Order Neoliberalism as a Cause of Structural Unemployment in the USA Neoliberalism and inequality
Neoliberal corruption White collar crime Neo-fascism Neocons as USA neo-fascists     Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism
The Great Transformation   Friedman --founder of Chicago school of deification of market Republican Economic Policy Monetarism fiasco Small government smoke screen Gangster Capitalism
Libertarian Philosophy Media domination strategy  John Kenneth Galbraith Alternatives to neoliberalism Globalization of Financial Flows Humor Etc

Introduction

 The discussion below is reproduced with minor changes from  idec.gr (work in progress)

No political system is exempt from corruption and in my opinion this outcome might even be somehow inexorable due to the nature of a state based polity. The difference between  the European systems in particular but also, at the limit, the American one and those societies the US hypocritically claim as corrupt might be mainly based not on the extent of corruption, but on different types of corruption used. Partially this might be due to the fact that younger society which are still in formation  exhibit more "primitive" types of corruption then societies which have already passed the middle-age period in their life cycle. Revolving door corruption is rampant in the USA, but not so popular in Russia, Iran and other "younger" countries.  Old style bribes at the same time are more common in Russia, although in many cases they function not as bribe but as a kind of private insurance again prejudice/friction of the system: they help to prevent bias in the system or speed up processing of  a request,  but not materially affect outcome.

And to answer your question: "how to prevent the hijacking of public interest by state officials; protect the society form abuse of  the possibility of extracting private benefit inherent in large power of the state official?"

But there is another aspect of corruption which is pretty modern in origin. The dominant Western perspective on "governance" failed to highlight the major source of corruption -- neoliberalism as a social system. 

The neoliberal anti-corruption campaign served to hide the problems inherent in economic liberalization. It is variant of "blame the poor" (countries) line when instead of blaming neoliberal reforms themselves, neoliberals try to divert the attention from neoliberalism as a powerful force of enabling corruption  by highlighting other contributing factors such as

Over recent years,  IMF and World Bank have been promoting an artificially constructed discourse on corruption that separates it from its historic narrative -- the neoliberal political system under which it now flourish. They use pretty elaborate smoke screen designed to hide the key issues under the set of fuzzy terms such as "transparency", "accountability", "governance", "anticorruption initiatives". Ignoring the socio-political role of corruption of key mechanism of the neoliberal debt enslavement of peripheral nations  (see Confessions of an Economic Hit Man - Wikipedia

As Wikipedia points out there is no universally accepted definition of corruption. In this sense privatization might well be the most widespread type of corruption which occurs when an office-holder or other governmental employee acts in an official capacity to sell government property for pennies on the dollar to local oligarchs of international companies. with delayed payment via the "revolving door" mechanism.

If we assume that corruption is 'illegitimate use of government power to benefit a private interest" then neoliberalism is the most corrupt social system imaginable.

But in neoliberal ideology only the state is responsible for corruption. The private sector under neoliberalism is immune of any responsibility. In reality it is completely opposite and state represents a barrier to private companies especially international sharks to get unfair advantage. And they can use the USA embassy as a source of pressure instead of bribing government officials. Neoliberals argues without any proof that if the market is let to function through its own mechanisms, and the role of state diminished to a minimum regulatory role, "good governance" could be realized and corruption be diminished. As US subprime crisis has shown this is untrue and destroys the stability of the economy. 

Actually the term "governance" serves as the magical universal opener in neoliberal ideology. It is ideologically grounded up the narrative of previous mismanagement of economy ("blame the predecessor" trick).

This assumes the ideal economic sphere, in which players somehow get an equal opportunities automatically without regulatory role of the state and in case of peripheral nations without being strong armed by more powerful states. Under neoliberalism ethical responsibilities on players are reduced to the loyalty to contract.

Moreover antisocial behavior under liberalism is explicitly promoted (" greed is good") -- self-enrichment at the expense of others and society as a whole. Also the Western banks serve as a "treasure vault" for stolen money and Western states provides "safe heaven" for corrupt officials that face prosecution. At least this is true for Russian oligarchs when each crook automatically became "fighter for freedom" after landing in London airport and stolen money are indirectly appropriated by British state and never returned to Russia.

The USA is very similar. It likes to condemn corruption as but seldom returns that money stolen -- for example it never returned to Ukraine money stolen by Ukrainian Prime minister under President Kuchma Pavlo Lazarenko ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlo_Lazarenko  )

Moreover in neoliberal ideology only the state is responsible for corruption, private sector under neoliberalism is immune of any responsibility. In reality it is completely opposite and state represents a barrier to private companies attempts to get unfair advantage, for example by bribing government officials. Neoliberals argues without any proof that if the market is let to function through its own mechanisms, and the role of state diminished to  a minimum regulatory role, "good governance" could be realized and corruption be diminished. As US subprime crisis has shown this is untrue and deregulation policies destroys the stability of the economy.

Actually the term "governance" serves as the magical universal opener in neoliberal ideology. It is ideologically grounded up in the narrative of previous mismanagement of economy ("blame the predecessor" trick). It also assumes the ideal economic sphere, in which players somehow get an equal opportunities automatically without regulatory role of the state. Ethical responsibilities on players are reduced to the loyalty to contract. Antisocial behaviour is explicitly promoted (" greed is good").  As Pope Francis noted

... Such an [neoliberal] economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.

Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a “disposable” culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the “exploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers”.

54. In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.

No to the new idolatry of money

55. One cause of this situation is found in our relationship with money, since we calmly accept its dominion over ourselves and our societies. The current financial crisis can make us overlook the fact that it originated in a profound human crisis: the denial of the primacy of the human person! We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf (cf. Ex 32:1-35) has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose. The worldwide crisis affecting finance and the economy lays bare their imbalances and, above all, their lack of real concern for human beings; man is reduced to one of his needs alone: consumption.

56. While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power. To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion, which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule.

No to a financial system which rules rather than serves

57. Behind this attitude lurks a rejection of ethics and a rejection of God. Ethics has come to be viewed with a certain scornful derision. It is seen as counterproductive, too human, because it makes money and power relative. It is felt to be a threat, since it condemns the manipulation and debasement of the person. In effect, ethics leads to a God who calls for a committed response which is outside of the categories of the marketplace. When these latter are absolutized, God can only be seen as uncontrollable, unmanageable, even dangerous, since he calls human beings to their full realization and to freedom from all forms of enslavement. Ethics – a non-ideological ethics – would make it possible to bring about balance and a more humane social order. With this in mind, I encourage financial experts and political leaders to ponder the words of one of the sages of antiquity: “Not to share one’s wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood. It is not our own goods which we hold, but theirs”.[55]

58. A financial reform open to such ethical considerations would require a vigorous change of approach on the part of political leaders. I urge them to face this challenge with determination and an eye to the future, while not ignoring, of course, the specifics of each case. Money must serve, not rule! The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but he is obliged in the name of Christ to remind all that the rich must help, respect and promote the poor. I exhort you to generous solidarity and a return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favours human beings.

No to the inequality which spawns violence

59. Today in many places we hear a call for greater security. But until exclusion and inequality in society and between peoples is reversed, it will be impossible to eliminate violence. The poor and the poorer peoples are accused of violence, yet without equal opportunities the different forms of aggression and conflict will find a fertile terrain for growth and eventually explode. When a society – whether local, national or global – is willing to leave a part of itself on the fringes, no political programmes or resources spent on law enforcement or surveillance systems can indefinitely guarantee tranquility. This is not the case simply because inequality provokes a violent reaction from those excluded from the system, but because the socioeconomic system is unjust at its root. Just as goodness tends to spread, the toleration of evil, which is injustice, tends to expand its baneful influence and quietly to undermine any political and social system, no matter how solid it may appear. If every action has its consequences, an evil embedded in the structures of a society has a constant potential for disintegration and death. It is evil crystallized in unjust social structures, which cannot be the basis of hope for a better future. We are far from the so-called “end of history”, since the conditions for a sustainable and peaceful development have not yet been adequately articulated and realized.

60. Today’s economic mechanisms promote inordinate consumption, yet it is evident that unbridled consumerism combined with inequality proves doubly damaging to the social fabric. Inequality eventually engenders a violence which recourse to arms cannot and never will be able to resolve. This serves only to offer false hopes to those clamouring for heightened security, even though nowadays we know that weapons and violence, rather than providing solutions, create new and more serious conflicts. Some simply content themselves with blaming the poor and the poorer countries themselves for their troubles; indulging in unwarranted generalizations, they claim that the solution is an “education” that would tranquilize them, making them tame and harmless. All this becomes even more exasperating for the marginalized in the light of the widespread and deeply rooted corruption found in many countries – in their governments, businesses and institutions – whatever the political ideology of their leaders.

Neoliberals limit ethical component to adhering to contracts. However, the contracts themselves might be corrupt, or it can be forces upon other party under duress. It is important to see all those trick neoliberals use and develop a critical stance towards the Western anti-corruption "crusade" of the last decade. At least disclose all the hypocrisy behind it.  this is especially important as "corruption" serves as matches to flare up  "color revolutions" -- a new war strategy of penetrating of international capital into peripheral countries.

The key neoliberal argument is that corruption is an obstacle to "good governance" and economic development. They never evaluate corruption within a wider ethical frame as for example Pope Francis does, not they discuss the implications of neoliberal reforms on social rights.

In ethics corruption refers to a domination of social relations by self-interest and to the perception of fellow citizens as instruments, obstacles or competitors. “In the morally corrupt society, civic virtue and social responsibility are displaced and discarded in favor of an intense competition for spoils.” In neoliberal thinking, however, the term is narrowly defined referring to the misuse of public office for private gain by bureaucrats, which is just a tip of the iseberg, because it is the other party -- powerful translational or local oligarchs who are buying those government officials.

Thus the drastic shift in in defining the term after the 1980s coincide with triumphant mach of neoliberalism over the world.  While the state was supposed to produce public interest and common good before then, the emphasis shifted in the neoliberal era to the opportunities that public power provided for individual rent-seeking. This is harmonious with the assumptions of neoliberal approach to governance, which treats the state as an economic entity.

The notion of good governance  under neoliberalism  typically means market reforms and their political framework of deregulation and privatization. In reality both are cesspool of corruption. As the business started to build direct ties with the bureaucracy it automatically obtains a greater role in decision making, and as the capacity of the state to facilitate private personal rents in the market increased. So corruption served much to the restoration of the power of financial oligarchy under neoliberalism. Neoliberalism discard the necessity of national and planned development model of the Keynesian era in terms of facilitating and accelerating capital redistribution and accumulation, especially in transition economies. It is ironic that a neoliberal anti-corruption campaign led to tremendous level of corruption of privatization of industry in xUSSR countries and establishing (with direct help of the West)  a strata of powerful, corrupt, often criminal and closely linked to the West oligarchs.

This, on the other hand, the notion of corruption under neoliberalism is conceptualized in such a way that trivialize the value of state intervention in the economy, discard any notion of public interest, and even of national priorities in politics. In order to reverse the neoliberal domination as the ideology it is important to stress the fact that under neoliberalism the whole the arena over which market competition occurred is corrupt.  The players are not only unethical they are often criminal as recent investigation of TBTF banks had shown. This way is easier to bring ethics back into discussion of corruption and start to understand the without state interference it is impossible to have a fair market. Please note that neoliberals try to avoid discussion the notion of "fair market" substituting it with "free market" misnomer, which idealize the market  as the sphere of voluntary action and freedom. In reality it is far from that and in unregulated market bigger players simply squash or swallow  the small fish.

The Neoliberal Discourse on Corruption

The neoliberal discourse on corruption is based on a certain set of assumptions about state-society relations and on a certain stance about the role of state in economy. As Pinar Bedirhanoğlu argues, “the neoliberal conception of corruption is ahistoric, biased, contradictory and politicized, and has been induced by concerns over market competition rather than morality.” This is because neoliberal conceptualization of corruption has fulfilled significant functions in globalized economy and politics, particularly at moments of financial crisis, such as the 1997 East Asian financial crisis and in Turkey after the 2001 crisis.

 The neoliberal anti-corruption campaign served to hide the problems inherent in economic liberalisation and second generation of neoliberal reforms themselves by highlighting the so-called long history of crony state–business relations and patrimonial state in the South, referring either to the heritage of the ‘strong state tradition’ in Turkey, ‘the communist past’ in Russia, or the ‘corporatist past’ in Latin America.

 Identifying corruption either with the inherent characteristics of bureaucrats and politicians (this way distorting the key idea of public administration  -- providing service to the people) or traditional and cultural characteristics of certain regions helps idealizing the Western political and economic model under the name ‘good governance’. This approach also served for the world elites to partially overcome the legitimacy crisis that the Western states experienced since the 1980s by articulating the demand of democratic reforms ("export of democracy"), the language of "good governance", transparency, and building civil society (at the same time under this rhetoric destroying all the social achievements of welfare state). Using its dominance in MSM neoliberals manage to brainwash public to the extent it start behaving contrary to its own economic interests, and in the interests of financial oligarchy (What's the matter with Kansas)

Neoliberals stress that enlargement of market relations and reduction in state functions would provide not only economic efficiency but also freedom and democracy, by breaking up the monopolization of power. The market is accepted as the sphere of freedom since transactions within it are voluntary and decentralized. New Right theoreticians argue that freedom is the individual control over choices, and it is best exercised in a market economy.

Concept of "Governance" and forceful suppression of discussion of links between political and economical spheres of society

By the 1970s neolibrals started to remove "the excesses of democracy" of New Deal and European Welfare states. Cosial reforms on New Deal era were condemned for the economic troubles during the decade, as was also the Keynesian economy o which they were based.  Organized labour and mass movements were suppressed and as they deemed  to be incompatible with unconstrained capitalist accumulation.

Keynesianism was blamed for expanding political decisions into the realm of economics, as if the desired non-political character of economy in not just another policy, just favoring big ploayers instead of small fish. It if such approach is not political. Welfare reforms came to be regarded as an anomaly, as an obstance to economic development. And crusing orgnized labour was presented as return to the normal distinction between economic and political spheres. However, the "de-economization" of politics under neoliebral was just a smoke screen decsined to hide accesnce to power of finacnial olitachy, the political force supressed by New Deal. So it was a countrrevolution not a revolution. And instead of promotion of democracy it resulted in promotion of  authoritarianism ans police state (national Security State) were protection of financial olitarchy is disguied as "fight against terrorisrm". Public debate on the policy of taxation, privatization, on the forced retreat of state from social sectors, about the level of autonomy of Central Bank etc., was forcefully supressed.

So, to maintain the neolibel system the elites forcefully suppress and hide the relationship between economy and politics.

The term ‘governance’ started to be positively used by all parties to describe the political form of global market economy. It is defined as ‘governance without government’. Theories of governance argued that while government refers to formal acts and procedures at state level, governance is based on a network of informal relations at all levels. It assumes an interdependency between nations, between nations and international organizations, and between nations and transnational or subnational structures.

Governance aims at organizing the state and social life in general, along market relations. Even the state itself is dealt as if it is a business administration job. Politics is identified with corruption, nepotism, partisanship etc., and the parliamentarian and political party systems are regarded negatively as sources of populism, which harmed much the functioning of the economy.8

Making economic decisions turned out to be the job of technocrats, who were claimed to be neutral professionals applying the objective rules of the game called economy. Legislation and regulation are increasingly carried out by non-parliamentary and non-governmental agents. A neo-corporatist structure is developing in which interest groups and specialized policy networks represent themselves in a market-like sphere of politics. As expert knowledge “as opposed to popular, common-sensical, everyday knowledge” of the people tends to prevail, the democracy of citizens is being replaced by the democracy of organized interest and lobbies. So, as Jean Grugel states, globalisation

Use of "fight with corruption" as the Trojan horse for neoliberalization of economy

The neoliberal anticorruption campaign served to hide the problems inherent in economic liberalisation and second generation of neoliberal reforms themselves by highlighting the so-called long history of crony state – business relations and patrimonial state in the South. Governance are not neutral processes with regard to their effects on state and society.10 The neoliberal discourse on corruption should be dealt accordingly. According to the neoliberal approach state is regarded as “the simple sum of profit maximising bureaucrats and politicians”, and corruption is assumed to arise for the rents created by the holding of offices. It is perceived as if exploitation and corruption are intrinsic characteristics of the state itself rather than representing its abuse. The underlying state– market dichotomy has led to an understanding of corruption primarily as a problem of the state.11 Those corrupt actions which necessitate the existence of public power –the state- as one of the parties of a mutual relation, such as bribery or extortion are mostly emphasized in the literature. Fraud or embezzlement, on the other hand, can be found in the private sector as well. While control mechanisms and measures are regarded sufficient in the private sector and corruption cases are not related to the nature of the property ownership, the state cannot benefit from such an exemption. This cannot be evaluated independently from the neoliberal attack against public ownership. It is for certain that public power is manipulated to gain economic advantage but so is economic power in private sphere.

Neoliberal discourse assumes that corruption is a phenomenon of the public sector. This interpretation “obscures the rising possibilities for private sector corruption caused by market-led economic reforms and has little to say about the complex linkages between abuses in the private and public sectors”.

Neoliberals regard the public sector as the major source of corruption, which is explained through the rent-seeking behaviour of individual public servants. This is based upon highly questionable conceptualizations of human motivation and a very poor understanding of the state. Their major objective is limited to explaining how the activities of public servants distort the efficient functioning of markets.

Ed Brown and Jonathan Cloke counter the view that the state is inherently more prone to corruption than the private sector. They argue that this, for example, leads to a lack of recognition of the opportunities for corruption that privatization and deregulation have provided. Even the World Bank accepts that transition to market economy has created fertile ground for corruption.

Since neoliberal discourse has a very limited conceptual understanding of the nature and functioning of the state and its relation to civil society, there appears certain inconsistencies. For example the writers refer to contradiction between the creation of new public bodies within institutional reform programmes and the assumption that public officials are primarily motivated by self-interest, and they question the hidden assumption that the workers within those anti-corruption offices were likely to be less corrupt than other public sector workers claimed to be naturally prone to rent-seeking behaviour.

Putting “public sector corruption as the most severe impediment to development and growth”, and moreover, claiming such things that bribery “distorts sectoral priorities and technology choices (by, for example, creating incentives to contract for large defence projects rather than rural health clinics specializing in preventive care)” is unfair and misleading. Corrupt behaviour is not limited to state officials; idealizing private sector actions while attacking state sector is at best naive. It is impossible to deny the motives for unethical behaviour in private sector and it is claimed that even the economic liberalization after 1980s, pointed as the solution of corruption problems, opened the path of corporate corruptions.

Since 1990s anti-corruption agenda has been promoted in developing countries through the reform programmes of the international financial institutions. It is not easy to determine whether an overall increase in corruption led to the anti-corruption campaign. Critical studies highlight the instrumentalization of anti-corruption discourse. Ed Brown and Jonathan Cloke argue that there was little reliable evidence to determine if corruption levels had been worsening or whether there has simply been increasing legal and public recognition of corruption cases or perhaps even the conscious manipulation of public sensitivity about the issue.

The example of Turkey is worth mentioning. Coming to the office to recover Turkish economy after the Keynesianism was blamed for expanding political decisions into the realm of economics, as if the desired non-political character of economy was not something political. (14 Ibid., p 287-91 and P. Bedirhanoğlu, “The Neoliberal Discourse on Corruption as a Means of Consent) 2001 financial crisis, Minister of Economic Affairs, now the UNDP President Kemal Derviş, have then explained the causes of the crisis with reference to the corrupt banking structure in Turkey and skilfully introduced the neoliberal discourse that associates anti-corruption porely with failures of  the implementation of the neoliberal reforms.

Through this discourse, neoliberal institutionalisation in Turkey which had been proceeding back and forth because of the resistance of various social forces for about a decade accelerated. Since this competition-induced concern over corruption was articulated within the moral based debates in domestic politics, the strategy received public consent.

The international ‘crusade’ against corruption does not fight with corruption itself but in the first place “promotes commerce, uniformity in commercial law and the associated disciplines of the market as indirect constraints on the conduct of states themselves”. In this respect, Barry Hindess regards the international anti-corruption campaign labelled as the promotion of good governance as an updated version of the older system of capitulations, which required independent states to acknowledge the extraterritorial jurisdiction of Western states in the area of commercial law.

Many scholars underline the conscious attempt of neoliberals to use corruption as a strategy for enabling neoliberal policies and try to demonstrate the consequences or by-products of international anti-corruption campaign of the last decade. One of those consequences is the strengthening of executive power and the growing role of international financial institutions. To overcome this problems that undermine state legitimacy, politics of civil society is gradually articulated in the campaign.

Despite their anti-state stance neoliberals are well aware of the continuing functions of state as a coercive and legitimizing body in regulating society. A central role is attached to the state in the launching of anticorruption policies. Pinar Bedirhanoğlu describes this as “to put the foxes in charge of the chicken house if it is recalled that corruption is assumed to be intrinsic to the state in rentier state theories”. To balance the state and prevent it from following a national program external pressure imposed by international financial institutions, NGOs, private sector, autonomous regulatory agencies, regional development agencies is applied. Rent-creation capacity of these bodies are usually disregarded. Practical monopoly of technical expertise makes such institutions extremely powerful and unaccountable.

As to the NGOs, in our case to those fighting against corruption, the question below is worth asking: “Can NGOs and similar organizations really help socialize citizens into the system, or do they rather represent a means by which citizens abdicate responsibility for active citizenship, and leave responsibility for political engagement with NGO staff?”.

Demet Dinler states that anti-corruption measures were functional in the redefinition of the relationship between the economic and the political. They emerged as a legitimating mechanism to justify market reforms and the separation of the economic from the political, because the ‘failure’ of the first generation reforms we explained by the continuing dominance of the political over the economic. “Corruption has been conceptualized as a ‘purely political’ phenomenon, related only to the politicians and their bureaucratic companions, by ignoring the major role of the businessmen in corruption and rentseeking.”

While the neoliberal concern on corruption is market-based and competition-induced at the international level, the domestic debates on corruption rest on moral grounds. This, according to Pınar Bedirhanoğlu, indicate different attitudes of capital and popular classes towards corruption. That of the latter seems to provide a more political ground. Corruption is undoubtedly harmful to the public interest through whatever medium we build the relation. However, it would be in vain to expect that the funds “rescued from the grasp of the corrupt public servant or politician” will be spent on good causes, such as education or health facilities for the poor.

The discourse of governance reduces morality to the loyalty to contract. However, we argue that the contract itself might be corrupt, if corruption is defined in ethical terms as the public opinion perceives it. The next part of the study will deal with the collapse of welfare policies and the transformation of labor market in this framework. 

A neoliberals also develop , cultivate and support interest groups and specialized policy networks which promotes neoliberalism and separation of politics and economics.

Attack of social rights as the mean to restore profitability in the environment of end of "cheap oil"

In the aftermath of the depression, the WWII and Keynesian revolution, the state actively intervened into the economy, helping to manage the conflicts arising from market competition In terms of its institutional and policy role, social provision was central to accumulation, helping to socialize consumption over the life-course and the reproduction of labor power. The success of the consolidation and expansion of welfare systems in virtually every Western country from 1950 through the early 1970s had two profound consequences for the political economy of welfare systems today. First, any attack on or defense of a welfare system must now operate along three distinct, yet interrelated, spheres: the economic, political and the cultural. Second, with welfare systems so successfully integrated into the institutional make-up of nations, the politics of welfare encompass far more than political wheeling and dealing over national budgets. Although expenditure levels remain important, the politics of welfare are increasingly about a nation’s class, racial, generational, and gender divisions. As an object of struggle and conflict, then, welfare politics reflect the interest of myriad social forces, such as employers’ associations, poverty groups, small business, social movements, and trade unions. Recent conflict over welfare systems has been intense, with government action from above and recipient reaction from below being very contentious.

However, both the ‘Golden Age’ of capitalism and the ‘Golden Age’ of social reforms came to an end with the worldwide economic slump of 1974-82, a crisis which covered two distinct generalized recessions separated by a weak recovery. In a long and drawn out process, the 1974-82 economic slump led to a new consensus in economic policy across the advanced capitalist economies. In the early 1980s, a neoliberals started a real offensive with the distinct goals of engineering an economic recovery and restoring profitability by redistributing the wealth up.

Destruction of New Deal and Welfare-state Social Policies

In altering the parameters of state intervention, neoliberalism rejected and turned away from the post-war reliance on the social right and more fair distribution of the results of  economic activity. The return of mass unemployment, industrial downsizing, the liberalization of capital flows and a rearticulating of hegemony of financial capital all changed the terrain of capitalist relations, destroying the post-war accord between the capital and labor.  Through neoliberalism coercive redistribution of wealth up started in full force. The emerging stage of ‘transnational capitalism’ is marked by high levels of capital mobility and economic integration between countries (some reduced to supplies of raw materials, like in classic neocolonialism) and defined by capital’s interaction with multiple states and an intensification of international competition. In this new political economic context, welfare systems are facing a number of transformatory pressures, including the erosion of government autonomy over social provision, integration induced convergent welfare effects and welfare system rivalry.

Neoliberal transformation of society put strong downward pressure on welfare systems. Apart from weakening organized labor outright, neoliberalism targets the economic, social and political costs of welfare. As John O’Connor argues for most of the 1990s, welfare systems in the advanced capitalist countries were the object of intense conflict between employers and workers. Governments fought hard to cut the cost of pensions, health care and benefit payments, while unions struggled to protect their longstanding social gains.26 In reshaping welfare systems, employers have been seeking to lower costs, improve labor market flexibility and reduce budget deficits. This is all being done to further international competitiveness and to help restore profitability. Defensive struggles over welfare systems have not been able to stop the retrenchment of social provision. Governments have embarked also on strategies of shifting the role of public and private sector via massive privatization of state assets, in which the private sector acquired public sector assets (as well as responsibilities and activities at discounted prices. Neoliberal policies resulted in globalization of capital and goods flows. It also led to mass outsourcing / off-shoring of whole industries to third world countries. The capability of swashing the cost of labor has been an important factor for multinational corporations. That is why reducing the cost of labor has been a major area by developing countries to compete against each other. Instead of permanent employment neoliberalism prefers the part-time labor / contractor  economy, were employees have not  social rights and minimal social protection.

There is a growing sense that social policies are taking new directions as policy debates move from an earlier embrace of privatization and marketization, to the task of retooling the state to face new social risks and to reproduce the social (social cohesion, social capital, social inclusion, social economy).27 Welfare system today have been openly scrutinized and challenged by Neoliberal approaches have regarded the public sector as the major source of corruption, which is explained through the rentseeking behaviour of individual public servants, politicians, employers, citizens, and tax payers as never before in the vast majority of Western nations. The roots of this scrutiny and challenge have been the subject of much political and scholarly debate. As economic globalisation has progressed, nation states have forfeited sovereignty to supra-national organizations and treaties, such as the Group of Seven, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the European Union (EU) and the North American Free Trade Union (NAFTA). These agencies and Organisations represent a complicated shift in political economic governance from the domestic level toward the supranational.29 With trans-state accumulation, there has been a move within many nations to move from ‘discretionary-based’ to ‘rule-based’ policy making.

This move toward rules is an attempt to implement mechanisms that automatically force domestic policy to reflect the changes associated with the global economy; e.g., the EU, the WTO, the IMF or World Bank.

Welfare retrenchment is sold to the public in terms of it being more a dictate of rules or logic of the global economy. Welfare systems are viewed now as national luxuries that cannot be afforded in the global economy. Given the enhanced exit options in today’s world, the political relationship among capital, the state and welfare coalitions have been recast. Capital mobility – or the threat of capital mobility – has the effect of forcing workers/unions and welfare coalitions into making concessions.31 Because capital is mobile, it can take an extremely aggressive stance in wage bargaining or in political negotiations. Trans-state accumulation has enhanced the power of capital, while leaving labour and welfare coalitions politically impotent. In addition to the usual concern over immigration, unemployment and population aging, it is obvious that governments in Europe and North America point to the pressures of economic globalisation as being one of the main reasons behind social cutbacks.

This offensive against the public sector in general and social systems in particular is universal and the language of globalisation has been central to this neoliberal assault.

As with the recasting of class relations, remaking the mode of production and reorganizing accumulation, neoliberalism seeks to restructure labour markets, making them more responsive to competitive forces. The integration of domestic economies has opened the door to welfare system social dumping effects, in which the benefits and services in one country are lowered the ward off any potential competitive disadvantages relative to another.32 Social dumping effects reflect governments’ concern that high ‘social cost’ will undermine a nation’s international competitiveness.

Given the rapid changes in the world market and the intensification of competition, an adaptable workforce and flexibility in the hiring and firing of workers are considered valuable economic assets. In general terms, economic flexibility can refer to the ability of capitalist enterprises to adjust their productive strategies, the ability of workers to move from one job to another and the ability of wage levels to move according to prevailing economic conditions.33

The early 1980s employers’ offensive was launched to restore profitability. neoliberal transformative action aimed to reorder post-war capitalism’s structural and institutional arrangements. This neoliberal reordering unleashed the economic transforming tendencies of state rationalisation, market contestability, and factor mobility (‘coercive competition’) on all nations. The importance of coercive competition is that it simultaneously acted on and transcended domestic institutional-policy frameworks.

In this new political economic context, domestic social systems faced a number of transformatory pressures, including the erosion of government autonomy over social provision, integration induced convergent welfare effects, and welfare system rivalry. The prime source of retrenchment pressures was that the mobile capital has an aversion to anything that contributes to competitive locational disadvantage. These pressures were dealt with politically determines the nature and scope of welfare system retrenchment. It is obvious that the explanation of globalisation has become a force “helping to create the institutional realities it purportedly merely describes.”34 Recent welfare practice reflects discursive practices that communicate an “apolitical logic of inevitabilism” that rules out all alternatives to globalisation and welfare retrenchment.35 

The early 1980s employers’ offensive was launched to restore profitability. Neoliberal transformative action aimed to reorder post-war capitalism’s structural and institutional arrangements.

Conclusions

As a political strategy neoliberalism tries to restore profitability at the expense of social well-being of population. the problem of corruption is used as smoke screen for penetration into third world countries and for extracting raw materials at low, globalised prices.  Through such organizations as WTO a global market was created where raw materials prices are nearly same in the world and goods can flow globally without borders and customs . This situation transforms the world economies into an open market and also open production islands not just for goods also for services also. That is why the competition continues over labor costs where states can still compete over. This competition made the governments cut out welfare expenditures to reduce costs of production.

Through this neoliberal transformative action and discourse states are eliminating workers post-war social gains and social protections such as  guaranteed pension, health care and benefit payments. This is done  to improve labor market flexibility and reduce budget deficits. Apart from weakening labor rights, neoliberalism also redistributes wealth by eliminating  high taxes to upper brackets of population, reducing the cost of welfare and privatizing those saving by financial sector.

Neoliberalism creates "race to the bottom" -- a competition between developing countries in reducing the cost of labor  and also generates an informal economy without any social rights of labor. Finally both capital mobility and economic integration have undermined the ability of national governments to pursue welfare objectives.

We should label the behaviour of perceiving social rights as a competitiveness tool rather than a means for meeting vital needs of humans a corrupt behaviour. So corruption is an immanent feature of neoliberalism. That sort of normative questions raised by pope Francis helps to understand deeper the role of  corruption in the neoliberal society. In will not be exaggeration to say the neoliberal society is based on corruption.  In other words, by redefinition corruption in terms of domination of social relations by self-interest, and regarding of fellow citizens as instruments, obstacles and competitors, we get deeper understanding of problem of corruption and related straggle against it the neoliberal era. That seems the best possible to fight corruption under neoliberalism is to fight neoliberal policies and to remembrance the ideas of New Deal which provided better the integrity of the economic and the political like of the society.


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[Aug 22, 2019] The Two-Faced Elizabeth Warren by Matt Purple

Yes, is way Warren is a connuation of "Trump tradition" in the USA politics: reling of hate toward the neoliberalism establishment to get the most votes.
Aug 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

...in a piece Warren wrote for Medium in which she (rightly) warned of "a precarious economy that is built on debt -- both household debt and corporate debt." Notably missing was the national debt, which amounts to around $182,900 per taxpayer and which Warren's policies would only steepen. How exactly is a government flailing in red ink supposed to make the country solvent? And what of the fact that some of the economy's woes -- student loan debt, for example -- were themselves at least in part caused by federal interventions?

Those objections aside, it would be wrong to dismiss Warren as just another statist liberal. She's deeper than that, first of all, having written extensively about economics, including her book The Two-Income Trap . But more importantly, she's put her finger on something very important in the American electorate. It's the same force that helped propel Donald Trump to victory in 2016: a seething anger against goliath institutions that seem to prize profit and power over the greater welfare. This is firmly in the tradition of most American populisms, which have worried less about the size of government and more about gilded influence rendering it inert.

Warren thus has a real claim to the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party, which is deeply skeptical of corporate power. She could even try to out-populist Donald Trump. She's already released more detailed policy proposals than any of her Democratic rivals, everything from sledgehammering the rich with new taxes to canceling student debt to wielding antitrust against big tech companies to subsidizing childcare. All this is chum to at least some of the Democratic base (old-school sorts rather than the SJWs obsessed with race and gender), and as a result, she's surged to either second or third place in the primary, depending on what poll you check. She's even elicited praise from some conservative intellectuals, who view her as an economic nationalist friendly to the family against the blackhearted forces of big.

America has been in a populist mood since the crash of 2008, yet in every presidential election since then, there's been at least one distinctly plutocratic candidate in the race. In 2008, it was perennial Washingtonian John McCain. In 2012, it was former Bain Capital magnate Mitt Romney. (The stupidest explanation for why Romney lost was always that tea party activists dragged him down. Romney lost because he sounded like an imposter and looked like the guy who fired your brother from that firm back in 1982.) And in 2016, it was, of course, Hillary Clinton, whose candidacy is what happens when you feed a stock portfolio and a government security clearance into a concentrate machine.

If Elizabeth Warren wins the Democratic nomination next year, it will be the first time since Bear Stearns exploded that both parties' candidates seem to reflect back the national temperament. It will also pose a test for Warren herself. On one hand, her economic policies, bad though they might be, stand a real chance of attracting voters, given their digestibility and focus on relieving high costs of living. On the other hand -- this is where Fauxcahontas comes back in -- a white woman claiming Indian status in order to teach at Harvard Law is pretty much everything Americans hate about politically correct identity politics.

The question, then, is which image of Warren will stick: one is a balm to the country's economic anxiety; the other is unacceptable to its cultural grievances. Right now we can only speculate, though it seems certain that Trump will try to define her as the latter while much of the media will intervene in the other direction.


john a day ago

Her entire political theory seems to have been that giant corporations should not be allowed to utterly screw the common man. That is about it, and for this she is called a commie radical. I like her, little afraid of foreign policy
=marco01= 18 hours ago • edited
Warren was born into a middle class family, Trump wasn't. Trump is playing the populist, he has no idea what average Americans deal with.

Warren was raised on the family lore of having native ancestry and she does. Not much but she does and that's all it takes to start family lore. Her Native American ancestor was from around the time of the American Revolution and it's easy to see how that legend could be passed down. There is no proof she ever benefited from this, she was just proud to have Native American ancestry.

Funny how the RW is so outraged by this one thing. Maybe it would be better for her to con people, lie and make stuff up nonstop like Trump. It seems a never ending blizzard of lies and falsehoods renders one immune.

polistra24 18 hours ago
Let's remember that our only effective populist, in fact our only effective president, was a rich patrician. FDR's roots went back to the Mayflower, yet he was able to break the influence of the banks and give us 50 years of bubble-free prosperity. The only thing that counts is GETTING THE WORK DONE.
Nelson 12 hours ago
Her economics aren't bad. She herself claims to be a capitalist, she just wants our massive economy to also benefit regular folks instead of just the elites. And whatever economic program she proposes is most likely further left than she thinks necessary because that's a better negotiating position to start from. Remember every proposal has to go through both branches of Congress to become law, and they will absolutely try to make everything more pro-corporate because that is their donor base.
cka2nd 11 hours ago
"And what of the fact that some of the economy's woes -- student loan debt, for example -- were themselves at least in part caused by federal
interventions?"

Mr. Purple might want to remind himself that 75% of federal student financial aid in the 1970's was in the form of grants, not loans, and that it was only after the intervention of conservative Republican congressman Gerald "Jerry" Solomon and the Reagan Administration that the mix of federal student financial aid was changed to be 75% loans and only 25% grants. I believe the Congressman used to rail against free riding college students, which is all well and good until one finds that the "free hand of the market" becomes warped by so many people being in so much debt, and all of them being too small to save.

Democrats might want to ask Joe Biden about this, considering his support for legislation that made it harder to discharge student debt in bankruptcy proceedings. They might also ask Senator Warren about this subject.

Absolute Fictions 11 hours ago
Warren believed her family story. Trump, on the other hand, knew that his family was not Swedish, but knowingly continued the lie for decades, including in "The Art of Deal " - claimin his grandfather came "from Sweden as a child" (rather than dodging the draft in Bavaria who made his fortune in red light districts of the Yukon territory before trying to return to the Reich).

Warren made no money from her heritage claims, but the $413 million (in today's dollars) given to Trump by his daddy was made by lying to Holocaust survivors in Brooklyn and Queens who, understandably, did not want to rent property from a German.

Vanity Fair asked him in 1990 if he were not in fact of German origin. "Actually, it was very difficult," Donald replied. "My father was not German; my father's parents were German Swedish, and really sort of all over Europe and I was even thinking in the second edition of putting more emphasis on other places because I was getting so many letters from Sweden: Would I come over and speak to Parliament? Would I come meet with the president?"

JeffK from PA 10 hours ago
This column was pretty much as I expected. It started out by rehashing all of the Fox News talking points about Warren, without debunking those that were without merit.

After that it touched on Morning Joe's take on her, just to make it 'fair and balanced'.

Then it acknowledged, briefly, that she has been correct in many areas. No comment on how the CFPB recovered hundreds of millions of $$ from corporations that abused their power or broke the law.

Then it mis-characterized the impact of her policies "sledgehammering the rich", "economic policies, bad though they might be".

Dismiss Warren all you want. She could very well be the nominee, or the VP. She would eviscerate Trump in a debate. Her knowledge of issues, facts and policies would show Trump to be what he is. A narcissistic, idiotic, in-over-his-head clueless and dangerous buffoon. I anticipate Trump would fall back on his favorite tropes. Pocahontas, socialist, communist, and MAGA.

My opinion is that the average American is getting really tired of Trump's shtick. The country is looking for somebody with real solutions to real problems. This reality tv star act is getting pretty old....

Kent 10 hours ago
Good article. Especially enjoyed this turn of phrase:

"And in 2016, it was, of course, Hillary Clinton, whose candidacy is what happens when you feed a stock portfolio and a government security clearance into a concentrate machine."

Really enjoyable.

I don't think anyone is going to care about the pocahontas thing. This election will be squarely about Trump. I think Warren is by far the best candidate the dems can bring out if they want to beat him. A Warren/Buttigieg or a Warren/Tulsi ticket would likely be a winner.

Bernie's a little too far to the left for Joe Lunchbucket, Joe Biden is a crooked Hillary wannabe, Kamala Harris is unlikeable, and the rest won't rise out of the dust.

Heaventree 9 hours ago • edited
The whole business about her supposed Native American ancestry and whatever claims she made will make no difference to anybody other than folks like Matt Purple who wouldn't support her under any circumstances anyway.
Consider that the best-known advocate of the "Pocahontas" epithet is of course Donald Trump, whose entire reputation is built on a foundation of bulls--t and flim-flam.
Lynnwig 9 hours ago
"Thus in retrospect was it the "Obama" in "Obamacare" that was the primary driver of opposition from conservatives, only for their concerns over federal intrusion to mostly disappear once Trump was at the controls."

No. What disappeared was the Individual Mandate. THAT was what rankled me...the government can do whatever stupid thing they want as long as they don't try to force me into it.

[Aug 18, 2019] Wells Fargo's behaviour as a nice example of immunity of criminals under neoliberalism

That's a racket. Pure and simple. Which means Well Fargo management and Warren Buffet would be prosecuted under RICO rules.
Aug 18, 2019 | slashdot.org
Wells Fargo's Computer Kept Charging 'Overdrawn' Fees On Supposedly Closed Accounts (startribune.com) 43 Posted by EditorDavid on Sunday August 18, 2019 @02:34PM from the continuing-relationships dept. The New York Times explains a new issue by describing what happened when Xavier Einaudi tried to close his Wells Fargo checking account. For weeks after the date the bank said the accounts would be closed, it kept some of them active. Payments to his insurer, to Google for online advertising and to a provider of project management software were paid out of the empty accounts in July. Each time, the bank charged Einaudi a $35 overdraft fee... By the middle of July, he owed the bank nearly $1,500. "I don't even know what happened," he said.

Current and former bank employees said Einaudi was charged because of the way Wells Fargo's computer system handles closed accounts: An account the customer believes to be closed can stay open if it has a balance, even one below zero. And each time a transaction is processed for an overdrawn account, Wells Fargo tacks on a fee. The problem has gone unaddressed by the bank despite complaints from customers and employees , including one in the bank's debt-collection department who grew concerned after taking in an estimated $100,000 in overdraft fees over eight months...

Most banks program their systems to stop honoring transactions on the specified date, but Wells Fargo allows accounts to remain open for two more months, according to current and former employees. Customers usually learn what happened only after their overdrawn accounts are sent to Wells Fargo's collections department. If the customers do not pay the overdraft fees, they are reported to a national database like Early Warning Services, which compiles names of delinquent bank customers. That often means a customer cannot open a new bank account anywhere, and getting removed from the lists can take hours' worth of phone calls.


fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) , Sunday August 18, 2019 @02:36PM ( #59099810 ) Journal

Wells Fargo has to be the crookedest bank ever ( Score: 3 , Insightful)

Yet, not a single person that counts is being prosecuted.

lgw ( 121541 ) , Sunday August 18, 2019 @02:42PM ( #59099822 ) Journal
Re:Wells Fargo has to be the crookedest bank ever ( Score: 5 , Interesting)

It's bizarre. I doubt Wells Fargo has a handful of senators in their pocket or something, as that would require a level of competence they've never demonstrated in any aspect of their business, so why are they even still allowed to be a bank?

Wells Fargo's primary business, near as I can tell, is widespread fraud. They may also do some banking on the side, but that seems like an afterthought. The entirety of their senior management should be in prison.

reboot246 ( 623534 ) , Sunday August 18, 2019 @02:56PM ( #59099868 ) Homepage
Re:Wells Fargo has to be the crookedest bank ever ( Score: 5 , Informative)

Wells Fargo is worse than crooked. They're incompetent, too. Their online bill pay is straight out of the 19th century.
That's why I closed my account with them about eight years ago . . . . or at least I think I did.

ranton ( 36917 ) writes:
Re: ( Score: 2 )

5th/3rd bank did the same thing to me back in 2009. I closed my bank account when merging accounts with my wife, but when transferring all of my recurring payments I missed two magazine yearly payments. 5th/3rd essentially reopened my accounts and charged them, which were obviously then overdrawn since they had $0 balances. Even after complaining they refused to rescind the fees.

We then closed my wife's account too and moved over to Chase. I always had the feeling that Chase would do the same thing to us to

JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) , Sunday August 18, 2019 @02:44PM ( #59099832 )
Most amazing thing about bank "errors" like this ( Score: 5 , Insightful)

Is that they all seem to work out in favor of the bank over the consumer. It's likely survivorship bias - all the errors that hurt the bank's financial interests get fixed, whereas the ones which help the bank don't and hang around forever. Imagine that.

gweihir ( 88907 ) , Sunday August 18, 2019 @02:54PM ( #59099858 )
Sounds like criminal business practices ( Score: 3 )

At the very least deceptive. In a sane system, the bank has to give a final balance at a certain day and it is legally prohibited from doing any transactions on that account afterwards.

Solandri ( 704621 ) , Sunday August 18, 2019 @03:02PM ( #59099878 )
Don't see how the customer could be liable ( Score: 3 )

When you close an account, you are terminating your contract with the bank. You walk into the bank, the bank rep looks at the account, sees how much money is in it at that instant and cuts you a check for that remaining balance. That zeros out the account, and the contract you made with the bank when you opened the account expires - it is as if you never had an account with the bank. If the bank then decides to take "money" out of the now-closed account, it's their own damn fault. They cannot claw back money from the customer - there is no longer a contract between them. The customer correctly zeroed out the account and closed it. Any error is the bank's own fault.

I can see it being a problem if you hold multiple accounts with the bank and you close just one of them. Then the bank might be able to come up with a legal argument when you're still liable. But that's why I hold accounts with multiple banks, and I generally close all my accounts with one bank at once.

localroger ( 258128 ) , Sunday August 18, 2019 @03:18PM ( #59099898 ) Homepage
Re:Don't see how the customer could be liable ( Score: 3 )

You're right legally, but the threat is that they will ruin your credit rating by reporting you as delinquent to the credit agencies. And your recourse for getting that undone is difficult at best.

sjames ( 1099 ) , Sunday August 18, 2019 @04:33PM ( #59100062 ) Homepage Journal
Re:Don't see how the customer could be liable ( Score: 2 )

In other words, extortion on the banks part and libel and slander from the reporting agencies (wanton disregard for the truth).

[Aug 17, 2019] With the Boeing 737 MAX Grounded, Top Boeing Bosses Must Testify Before Congress Now by Ralph Nader

Notable quotes:
"... Meanwhile, just about everybody in the airline industry, the Department of Transportation, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Justice Department (with its criminal probe), the transport unions, the consumer groups such as Flyers Rights, and the flying public are anxious to see top Boeing officials in the witness chair under oath answering important questions. ..."
"... It is not as if Boeing lobbyists are absent. The giant company has been everywhere in Washington, D.C. getting its way for years in Congress, with NASA, the Department of Defense, and of course, the hapless, understaffed FAA. Boeing gives campaign donations to about some 330 members of Congress. ..."
"... The Boeing case involves a more imminent danger. The company and its "captured" FAA want to unground the MAX as fast as possible and to get more new MAXs, under order, to the airlines. ..."
"... This haste is all the more reason why Congress has to pick up the pace, regardless of "MAX Mitch" McConnell, the Kentucky dictator of the Senate who is a ward of the Boeing complex and its campaign cash. If the 737 MAX is ever allowed to fly again, with its shaky software fixes, glitches, and stitches, the pressure will build on members of Congress to go soft on the company. They will be told not to alarm millions of passengers and unsettle the airline industry with persistent doubts about the plane's prone-to-stall and other serious safety hazards from overautomation and sloppy construction, already documented in The New York Times, the Seattle Times, and other solid media reporting. ..."
"... Moreover, retired airline Captain Chesley Sullenberger, in his brilliant testimony before DeFazio on June 19th, called for full simulator training for pilots before they fly the MAX on scheduled routes (read Captain Sullenberger's full statement here ). ..."
"... How long before the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Department of Transportation or the Congress and the betrayed airlines themselves call for the resignation of both officers and the Board and, end the career conflict of interest these failed incumbents have with the future well-being of the Boeing Corporation itself? ..."
Aug 16, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

Two Boeing 737 MAX crashes, one in Indonesia last October and one in Ethiopia this past March, took a combined 346 lives. Steady scrutiny by the media reported internal company leaks and gave voice to sidelined ex-Boeing engineers and aerospace safety specialists. These experts have revealed that Boeing's executives are responsible because they chose to use an unstable structural design and faulty software. These decisions left the flying public, the pilots, the airlines, and the FAA in the dark, to varying degrees.

Yet Congressional Committees, which announced investigations months ago, still have not called on Dennis Muilenburg, the CEO of Boeing, or any member of Boeing's Board of Directors to testify.

Given the worldwide emergency grounding of all 400 or so MAX aircraft and the peril to crews and airline passengers, why are the Senate and House Committees holding back? House Committee Chairman, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) wants to carefully prepare for such action after the staff goes through the much delayed transmission of documents from Boeing. Meanwhile, Senate Committee Chair Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) deferred to Boeing's request to put off their testimony before Congress until the Indonesian government puts out its report on the Lion Air disaster, presumably sometime in October.

Meanwhile, just about everybody in the airline industry, the Department of Transportation, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Justice Department (with its criminal probe), the transport unions, the consumer groups such as Flyers Rights, and the flying public are anxious to see top Boeing officials in the witness chair under oath answering important questions.

It is not as if Boeing lobbyists are absent. The giant company has been everywhere in Washington, D.C. getting its way for years in Congress, with NASA, the Department of Defense, and of course, the hapless, understaffed FAA. Boeing gives campaign donations to about some 330 members of Congress.

Corporate CEOs hate to testify before Congress under oath when they are in hot water. CEOs from the tobacco, drug, auto, banking, insurance, and Silicon Valley industries have all dragged their feet to avoid testifying. Eventually they all had to show up in public on Capitol Hill.

The Boeing case involves a more imminent danger. The company and its "captured" FAA want to unground the MAX as fast as possible and to get more new MAXs, under order, to the airlines.

This haste is all the more reason why Congress has to pick up the pace, regardless of "MAX Mitch" McConnell, the Kentucky dictator of the Senate who is a ward of the Boeing complex and its campaign cash. If the 737 MAX is ever allowed to fly again, with its shaky software fixes, glitches, and stitches, the pressure will build on members of Congress to go soft on the company. They will be told not to alarm millions of passengers and unsettle the airline industry with persistent doubts about the plane's prone-to-stall and other serious safety hazards from overautomation and sloppy construction, already documented in The New York Times, the Seattle Times, and other solid media reporting.

With investigations underway at civil aviation agencies all over the world, and a grand jury operating in the U.S. looking into criminal negligence, this is no time for Congress to take its time in laying open the fullest truths and facts in public. Bear in mind, apart from the civil tort law suits, all other investigations are not being conducted in public.

There is a growing consensus by impartial specialists that after many iterations of the Boeing 737 series, beginning with the 737-100 in 1967, the much larger, more elaborate Boeing 737 MAX must be seen as a new aircraft requiring full certification. Certainly that is the view of some members of Chairman DeFazio's committee and Chairman David Price's House Subcommittee on Appropriations which holds the keys to funding a much larger FAA budget to do its job as a regulator, not as a deregulator that abdicates to Boeing.

Moreover, retired airline Captain Chesley Sullenberger, in his brilliant testimony before DeFazio on June 19th, called for full simulator training for pilots before they fly the MAX on scheduled routes (read Captain Sullenberger's full statement here ).

In a precise letter to the Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao and the acting and incoming heads of the FAA (Daniel Elwell and Stephen Dickson respectively), dozens of families and friends of the victims from many countries asked for full recertification and mandatory simulator training before any decision is made about the 737 MAX. Currently 737 MAX pilots are only given an hour of iPad training -- a clearly insufficient measure and an affront to safety ( see more here ). The letter, which was sent on August 7, 2019, also called for the resignation of Ali Bahrami, the abdicator in charge of safety at the FAA.

Many decisions are coming up for the FAA and Boeing. The FAA would be very foolish to unground the 737 MAX just for U.S. airspace without the counterparts in North America, Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa concurring.

As for Boeing, the company cannot afford another one or two crashes attributed to continued indifference to longstanding aerodynamic standards of stability. The issue for Boeing's celebrity, minimally experienced Board of Directors is how long it will tolerate Boeing's management that, over the judgement of its best engineers, has brought the company to its present predicament.

How long before the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Department of Transportation or the Congress and the betrayed airlines themselves call for the resignation of both officers and the Board and, end the career conflict of interest these failed incumbents have with the future well-being of the Boeing Corporation itself?

[Aug 17, 2019] Is Warren just another smooth talking confidence artist?

Video link removed --- see the original post...
Aug 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Warren (D)(1): Worth listening to in full:

There's a lot wrong here -- although Warren is a terrific story teller -- but it's really too bad that Obama didn't say "accounting control fraud," instead of "predatory lending." Although it's not clear that Warren would have understood him if he had.

Michael Fiorillo , August 16, 2019 at 2:23 pm

You're damn right there's problems with Warren's Obama story: he does five minutes of research about her career and focus before she arrives, makes sure to be backlit upon her entrance, rings what comes across as a transparently canned bell and she swoons!

I get that that most people were taken in by that talented, fraudulent shapeshifter, but this is painful to watch.

Synoia , August 16, 2019 at 2:25 pm

Smooth talking confidence artist, IMHO.

[Aug 16, 2019] When the law is on the side of "extraordinary" risk takers, it's more tempting to go for it

Aug 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

Daniel Rich , says: August 14, 2019 at 3:09 am GMT

@ChuckOrloski Quote: "When the law is on the side of "extraordinary" risk takers, it's more tempting to go for it."

Reply: Brilliant!

[Aug 15, 2019] Warren might soon pass Biden of official polls

Aug 15, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc , August 14, 2019 at 08:25 AM

Yet another clear as day reason S. Warren is the leading and ONLY Dem candidate with ideas and actual SOLUTIONS to fix America's problems

PS do note that a recent Poll but Biden behind Sanders in New Hampshire

https://www.thedailybeast.com/elizabeth-warren-suggests-shed-repeal-the-94-crime-bill?ref=home

"Elizabeth Warren Suggests She'd Repeal Biden's 1994 Crime Bill"

'The senator had tough words for one of Joe Biden's signature laws'

by Gideon Resnick, Political Reporter...08.14.19...10:57AM ET

"Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) suggested in an interview Tuesday evening that she would seek the repeal of the 1994 crime bill -- a historic though highly controversial measure tied closely to one of her closest competitors for the Democratic presidential nomination.

It "needs to be changed, needs to be rolled back, needs to be repealed." Warren said of the law, which has become widely bemoaned by criminal justice reform advocates for its tough-on-crime measures, harsh sentencing guidelines, and general encouragement of the war on drugs."...

im1dc , August 14, 2019 at 09:21 AM
Good news for S. Warren, Bad news for V.P. Biden

...but in meaningless Polling at this early date

https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/457387-biden-just-one-point-ahead-of-warren-in-new-weekly-tracking-poll

"Biden just 1 point ahead of Warren in new weekly tracking poll"

By Julia Manchester...08/14/19...11:04 AM EDT

"Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is trailing former Vice President Joe Biden by just 1 point in a new Economist–YouGov weekly tracking poll.

Biden sits at 21 percent support in the survey, while Warren is close behind at 20 percent. The next candidate is Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at 16 percent support among voters."...

Plp -> im1dc... , August 14, 2019 at 03:30 PM
If broadly reflective of a trend


It means Biden as massive front runner
A few months ago
Is now deflating fast

Fred C. Dobbs , August 14, 2019 at 01:13 PM
Pa. Democrats support Joe Biden and Elizabeth
Warren, but will vote for anyone against
Donald Trump in 2020, poll finds
https://www.inquirer.com/politics/pennsylvania/pa-2020-presidential-election-poll-trump-biden-warren-sanders-20190808.html

Hiladelphia Inquirer - August 8

Pennsylvania voters have very strong -- and mostly negative -- views about President Donald Trump, and about half say they will vote against him no matter his opponent, according to a new poll of registered voters across the state.

Over multiple questions and surveys, a clear portrait emerges of an electorate deeply polarized over the president, with strongly held feelings on either side.

About half of voters had a "strongly unfavorable" opinion of the president, twice the number who held a "strongly favorable" opinion.

And while the divisions among Democratic voters are real during this primary election, especially across groups such as age, race, and income, the real divide is between the parties and ideologies: Most Democrats, regardless of which candidate they support, say they will vote against Trump no matter what. ...

---

Trump claims credit for Shell plant announced under Obama
https://www.inquirer.com/news/donald-trump-beaver-county-pa-shell-cracker-energy-environment-climate-20190813.html
Philadelphia Inquirer - JILL COLVIN and JOSH BOAK - August 13

MONACA, Pa. (AP) -- President Donald Trump sought to take credit Tuesday for the construction of a major manufacturing facility in western Pennsylvania as he tries to reinvigorate supporters in the Rust Belt towns who helped send him to the White House in 2016.

Trump visited Shell Oil Co.'s soon-to-be completed Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex, which will turn the area's vast natural gas deposits into plastics. The facility, which critics claim will become the largest air polluter in western Pennsylvania, is being built in an area hungry for investment.

Speaking to a crowd of thousands of workers dressed in fluorescent orange-and-yellow vests, Trump said, "This would have never happened without me and us."

In fact, Shell announced its plans to build the complex in 2012, when President Barack Obama was in office.

A Shell spokesperson said employees were paid for their time attending Trump's remarks.

Trump used the official White House event as an opportunity to assail his Democratic rivals, saying, "I don't think they give a damn about Western Pennsylvania, do you?"

The focus is part of a continued push by the Trump administration to increase the economy's dependence on fossil fuels in defiance of increasingly urgent warnings about climate change. And it's an embrace of plastic at a time when much of the world is sounding alarms over its impact.

"We don't need it from the Middle East anymore," Trump said of oil and natural gas, calling the employees "the backbone of this country."

Trump's appeals to blue-collar workers helped him win Beaver County, where the plant is located, by more than 18 percentage points in 2016, only to have voters turn to Democrats in 2018's midterm elections. In one of a series of defeats that led to Republicans' loss of the House, voters sent Democrat Conor Lamb to Congress after the prosperity promised by Trump's tax cuts failed to materialize.

Beaver County is still struggling to recover from the shuttering of steel plants in the 1980s that surged the unemployment rate to nearly 30%. Former mill towns like Aliquippa have seen their populations shrink, while nearby Pittsburgh has lured major tech companies like Google and Uber, fueling an economic renaissance in a city that reliably votes Democratic.

Trump claimed that his steel and aluminum tariffs have saved those industries and that they are now "thriving." a description that exaggerates the recovery of the steel industry.

Trump also took credit for the addition of 600,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs. Labor Department figures show that roughly 500,000 factory jobs have been added under his presidency. ...

(Apparently, workers' pay would be docked if they
did not attend; and they were advised to 'behave'.)

[Aug 13, 2019] Epstein's business was to facilitate one spcific form of corruption of politicians and other powerfule players

Aug 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Aug 12 2019 5:55 utc | 74

Craig Murray's sober, reflective note on Epstein begins and ends with corruption as its main theme. I hope people find the time to read it. He doesn't delve deeply, but at base it what is known as seigniory rights--the right of the lord to take and rape whomever he wants with impunity, which is one of the most brutal forms of corruption imaginable. Epstein's business was to facilitate that form of corruption. Yes, it's illegal and immoral, but the primary fact is that its corrupt--it has no sanction whatsoever. And it's exactly that sort of primal corruption that is visited upon the vast majority daily. Passing legislation that will knowingly result in the poisoning of millions--stunting the brains of the young--which was just done and signed into law by Trump is what I'm writing about. It's a different form of rape, but it's rape nonetheless. But it seems that only bothers me, and Craig Murray.

Jay , Aug 12 2019 13:35 utc | 91

Tonymike:


So "it's all the fault of the Jews and the Israelis, no one else is ever involved in sex trafficking of young "white" girls", sarcasm from me.

Why don't you drop your BS auto-anti-Semitism and look at everyone else documented to have been involved.

/div>

For those who claim public view of Epsteins corpse,very understandably and necessary ,I would say,that even then there's possibility of being misled.The film industry manages to produce props that look very real,human face included.I stood once before a prop representing the corpse of a shot down horse,even at fifty cm from it I thought it was real.There was no smell of course,but even that can be staged.The people allowed to view Epsteins cadaver really would need to put a knife in it,to assure its being real,and then try to pull off the mask that could be his face.

Posted by: willie , Aug 12 2019 14:02 utc | 94

For those who claim public view of Epsteins corpse,very understandably and necessary ,I would say,that even then there's possibility of being misled.The film industry manages to produce props that look very real,human face included.I stood once before a prop representing the corpse of a shot down horse,even at fifty cm from it I thought it was real.There was no smell of course,but even that can be staged.The people allowed to view Epsteins cadaver really would need to put a knife in it,to assure its being real,and then try to pull off the mask that could be his face.

Posted by: willie | Aug 12 2019 14:02 utc | 94

willie , Aug 12 2019 11:11 utc | 84 Taffyboy , Aug 12 2019 11:25 utc | 85
Interesting list, sorry about the length of copy and paste, from Zerohedge then.

In 2016 CBS Las Vegas posted a list of Bill and Hillary Clinton associates alleged to have died under mysterious circumstances.

Here is that list.

1- James McDougal – Clintons convicted Whitewater partner died of an apparent heart attack, while in solitary confinement. He was a key witness in Ken Starr's investigation.

2 – Mary Mahoney – A former White House intern was murdered July 1997 at a Starbucks Coffee Shop in Georgetown .. The murder happened just after she was to go public w:th her story of sexual harassment in the White House.

3 – Vince Foster – Former White House counselor, and colleague of Hillary Clinton at Little Rock's Rose Law firm. Died of a gunshot wound to the head, ruled a suicide.

4 – Ron Brown – Secretary of Commerce and former DNC Chairman. Reported to have died by impact in a plane crash. A pathologist close to the investigation reported that there was a hole in the top of Brown's skull resembling a gunshot wound. At the time of his death Brown was being investigated, and spoke publicly of his willingness to cut a deal with prosecutors. The rest of the people on the plane also died. A few days later the Air Traffic controller commited suicide.

5 – C. Victor Raiser, II – Raiser, a major player in the Clinton fund raising organization died in a private plane crash in July 1992.

6 – Paul Tulley – Democratic National Committee Political Director found dead in a hotel room in Little Rock , September 1992. Described by Clinton as a "dear friend and trusted advisor".

7 – Ed Willey – Clinton fundraiser, found dead November 1993 deep in the woods in VA of a gunshot wound to the head. Ruled a suicide. Ed Willey died on the same day his wife Kathleen Willey claimed Bill Clinton groped her in the oval office in the White House. Ed Willey was involved in several Clinton fund raising events.

8 – Jerry Parks – Head of Clinton's gubernatorial security team in Little Rock .. Gunned down in his car at a deserted intersection outside Little Rock Park's son said his father was building a dossier on Clinton He allegedly threatened to reveal this information. After he died the files were mysteriously removed from his house.

9 – James Bunch – Died from a gunshot suicide. It was reported that he had a "Black Book" of people which contained names of influential people who visited prostitutes in Texas and Arkansas

10 – James Wilson – Was found dead in May 1993 from an apparent hanging suicide. He was reported to have ties to Whitewater..

11 – Kathy Ferguson – Ex-wife of Arkansas Trooper Danny Ferguson, was found dead in May 1994, in her living room with a gunshot to her head. It was ruled a suicide even though there were several packed suitcases, as if she were going somewhere. Danny Ferguson was a co-defendant along with Bill Clinton in the Paula Jones lawsuit Kathy Ferguson was a possible corroborating witness for Paula Jones.

12 – Bill Shelton – Arkansas State Trooper and fiancee of Kathy Ferguson. Critical of the suicide ruling of his fiancee, he was found dead in June, 1994 of a gunshot wound also ruled a suicide at the grave site of his fiancee.

13 – Gandy Baugh – Attorney for Clinton's friend Dan Lassater, died by jumping out a window of a tall building January, 1994. His client was a convicted drug distributor.

14 – Florence Martin – Accountant & sub-contractor for the CIA, was related to the Barry Seal, Mena, Arkansas, airport drug smuggling case. He died of three gunshot wounds.

15 – Suzanne Coleman – Reportedly had an affair with Clinton when he was Arkansas Attorney General. Died of a gunshot wound to the back of the head, ruled a suicide. Was pregnant at the time of her death.

16 – Paula Grober – Clinton's speech interpreter for the deaf from 1978 until her death December 9, 1992. She died in a one car accident.
17 – Danny Casolaro – Investigative reporter, investigating Mena Airport and Arkansas Development Finance Authority. He slit his wrists, apparently, in the middle of his investigation.

18 – Paul Wilcher – Attorney investigating corruption at Mena Airport with Casolaro and the 1980 "October Surprise" was found dead on a toilet June 22, 1993, in his Washington DC apartment had delivered a report to Janet Reno 3 weeks before his death.

19 – Jon Parnell Walker – Whitewater investigator for Resolution Trust Corp. Jumped to his death from his Arlington ,Virginia apartment balcony August 15, 1993. He was investigating the Morgan Guaranty scandal.

20 – Barbara Wise – Commerce Department staffer. Worked closely with Ron Brown and John Huang. Cause of death: Unknown. Died November 29, 1996. Her bruised, naked body was found locked in her office at the Department of Commerce.

21 – Charles Meissner – Assistant Secretary of Commerce who gave John Huang special security clearance, died shortly thereafter in a small plane crash.

22 – Dr. Stanley Heard – Chairman of the National Chiropractic Health Care Advisory Committee died with his attorney Steve Dickson in a small plane crash. Dr. Heard, in addition to serving on Clinton 's advisory council personally treated Clinton's mother, stepfather and brother.

23 – Barry Seal – Drug running TWA pilot out of Mena Arkansas, death was no accident.

24 – Johnny Lawhorn, Jr. – Mechanic, found a check made out to Bill Clinton in the trunk of a car left at his repair shop. He was found dead after his car had hit a utility pole.

25 – Stanley Huggins – Investigated Madison Guaranty. His death was a purported suicide and his report was never released.

26 – Hershell Friday – Attorney and Clinton fundraiser died March 1, 1994, when his plane exploded.

27 – Kevin Ives & Don Henry – Known as "The boys on the track" case. Reports say the boys may have stumbled upon the Mena Arkansas airport drug operation. A controversial case, the initial report of death said, due to falling asleep on railroad tracks. Later reports claim the 2 boys had been slain before being placed on the tracks. Many linked to the case died before their testimony could come before a Grand Jury.

THE FOLLOWING PERSONS HAD INFORMATION ON THE IVES/HENRY CASE:
28 – Keith Coney – Died when his motorcycle slammed into the back of a truck, 7/88.

29 – Keith McMaskle – Died, stabbed 113 times, Nov, 1988

30 – Gregory Collins – Died from a gunshot wound January 1989.

31 – Jeff Rhodes – He was shot, mutilated and found burned in a trash dump in April 1989.

32 – James Milan – Found decapitated. However, the Coroner ruled his death was due to natural causes".

34 – Richard Winters – A suspect in the Ives/Henry deaths. He was killed in a set-up robbery July 1989.

THE FOLLOWING CLINTON BODYGUARDS ARE ALSO DEAD
35 – Major William S. Barkley, Jr.

36 – Captain Scott J . Reynolds

37 – Sgt. Brian Hanley

38 – Sgt. Tim Sabel

39 – Major General William Robertson

40 – Col. William Densberger

41 – Col. Robert Kelly

42 – Spec. Gary Rhodes

43 – Steve Willis

44 – Robert Williams

45 – Conway LeBleu

46 – Todd McKeehan

And the most recent, Seth Rich, the DC staffer murdered and "robbed" (of nothing) on July 10. Wikileaks founder Assange claims he had info on the DNC email scandal.

Not Included in this list are the 4 heroes killed in Benghazi.

And now you can add multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein to the list...

[Aug 13, 2019] Pentagon Launches Investigation Into $10 Billion JEDI Cloud Contract With Amazon

Aug 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

"We are reviewing the DoD's handing of the JEDI cloud acquisition, including the development of requirements and the request for proposal process," said Pentagon IG spokeswoman Dwrena Allen in a statement, adding that a "multidisciplinary team" of auditors, attorneys and investigators are investigating JEDI matters "referred to us by Members of Congress and through the DoD Hotline."

"In addition, we are investigating whether current or former DoD officials committed misconduct relating to the JEDI acquisition, such as whether any had any conflicts of interest related to their involvement in the acquisition process."

Allen said the review "is ongoing and our team is making substantial progress. We recognize the importance and time sensitive nature of the issues, and we intend to complete our review as expeditiously as possible."

The OG intends to write a report and notify Defense Secretary Mark Esper and DoD leaders of the findings, as well as inform Congress, according to standard protocols, she said. "We will also consider publicly releasing the results, consistent with our standard processes. - Bloomberg

On August 1st, Defense Secretary Esper ordered a separate review of the Pentagon's JEDI cloud contract after President Trump supported critics saying that Amazon was given an unfair advantage.

In July, the WSJ publicized new evidence showing that senior Amazon executives met with senior DoD officials, including then-Defense Secretary James Mattis, to discuss the project before the bidding even began, while the decision over the program was expected this month.

Meanwhile, Oracle lost out on the project after losing a critical court case against the Pentagon and Amazon, allowing the DoD to move forward with either Amazon or Microsoft.

TeethVillage88s , 2 minutes ago link

After WWII most govt could be called Socialist with many Nationalized Sectors and Industries. Italy stands out in that even by 1981 most of the sectors and industries were still profoundly Nationalized. Creation of the EU seemed to be characterized by US Style Privatization. Now add in Lemon Socialism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon_socialism - Bailouts of Private Companies and Nationalization in that profits were private and loses are public... poor companies remain in industries perhaps with monopoly or oligopoly powers. " In Icelandic , lemon socialism is known as " Sósíalismi andskotans ", meaning "the devil's socialism", a term coined by Vilmundur Jónsson (1889–1971, Iceland's Surgeon General) in the 1930s to criticize alleged crony capitalism in Landsbanki , which has gained renewed currency in the debate over the 2008–2012 Icelandic financial crisis . [11] Lemon socialism, or more precisely crony capitalism, is also referred to as Pilsfaldakapítalismi , meaning "skirt capitalism", pilsfaldur being the hemline of the skirt; and the term referring to children hiding behind their mothers' skirts after having done something wrong to criticize the alleged lack of transparency in dealings and reluctance to deal with bad consequences by themselves.

[Aug 12, 2019] Russiagate is Dead, but for the Political Establishment, it is Still the New 42 by Craig Murray

"Mueller's Inquiry was never a serious search for truth is that at no stage was any independent forensic independence taken from the DNC's servers, instead the word of the DNC's own security consultants was simply accepted as true. Finally no progress has been made – or is intended to be made – on the question of who killed Seth Rich, while the pretend police investigation has "lost" his laptop. "
See also Robert Muller: Establishment Sweethard helped Bush to see the Iraqq war https://youtu.be/mK5T_rZmVyg
Notable quotes:
"... Like the Wolfowitz explanation of the Iraq War, Russiagate is the idea around which varied interests can be organized. Cold Warriors like to hate on Russia. It justifies arms spending and their own importance. Clintonistas need an excuse to distract from her being a loser. The DNC needs an excuse for manipulating the candidate selection in favor of donor interests. "Moderates" need a distraction from their ongoing refusal to address the interests of voters. ..."
Aug 12, 2019 | consortiumnews.com
... ... ...

So, there we have it. Russiagate as a theory is as completely exploded as the appalling Guardian front page lie published by Kath Viner and Luke Harding fabricating the "secret meetings" between Paul Manafort and Julian Assange in the Ecuadorean Embassy. But the political class and the mainstream media, both in the service of billionaires, have moved on to a stage where truth is irrelevant, and I do not doubt that Russiagate stories will thus persist. They are so useful for the finances of the armaments and security industries, and in keeping the population in fear and jingoist politicians in power.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010.


michael , August 12, 2019 at 19:53

So far there is as much evidence presented that Martians interfered in the 2016 Election as RUSSIANS!!!
Just a much needed excuse to blow on the dying embers of the Cold War and get the nuclear weapons ready.
I'm still waiting for Robert Mueller to be tried for lying to Congress (when asked who hired him, instead of saying "I have no idea", he said "Bush!" It is a matter of public record that Reagan hired him, a blatant lie! Is Michael Flynn out of jail yet?)

Drew Hunkins , August 12, 2019 at 14:49

" and I do not doubt that Russiagate stories will thus persist. They are so useful for the finances of the armaments and security industries, and in keeping the population in fear and jingoist politicians in power "

They are also extremely useful as a scapegoat for the corporate warmongering DNC to camouflage the genuine reasons they lost to Trump of all people.

Mark Thomason , August 12, 2019 at 10:34

Like the Wolfowitz explanation of the Iraq War, Russiagate is the idea around which varied interests can be organized. Cold Warriors like to hate on Russia. It justifies arms spending and their own importance. Clintonistas need an excuse to distract from her being a loser. The DNC needs an excuse for manipulating the candidate selection in favor of donor interests. "Moderates" need a distraction from their ongoing refusal to address the interests of voters.

jessika , August 12, 2019 at 09:38

"Those whom the gods would destroy they first drive mad".

Larry Mofield , August 12, 2019 at 08:41

If Russia actually wanted to help someone win I think it would be Hilary because Trump is a plain shooter from the hip and takes nothing off of nobody.
If anything Sanders should had sued the DNC and Hilary for rigging the DNC
Go figure why he has kept his mouth shut.

Bif Webster , August 12, 2019 at 11:13

Putin preferred Obama to his running mates as well. But you won't ever hear that on the corporate "news" media.

Others sued on behalf of Bernie. That case died in south Florida, near Wasserman-Schultz's district yeah, and the excuse was, "The DNC is a 'private organization" and do what they like, apparently. However, the "judge" did not find it odd that a private entity can run a public election? And how there's an obvious conflict of interest involved?

Bernie kept his mouth shut because he's inside the Belly of the Beast.

Martin , August 12, 2019 at 11:54

i think there was something of a lawsuit, but the judge decided that the rigging was an inside thing to which no external laws applied. if you got a non-profit or a company and there's no internal rules that forbid the rigging of votes, rigging is not illegal. the superdelegates still exist.

Seer , August 12, 2019 at 12:04

He kept his mouth shut because advancing "My Revolution" was more important. And, because he's NOT a Democrat: he's only "allowed" to run as one: he is therefore a little more constrained. Had he lashed out he'd have NOT been allowed to run again as a Democrat -- bank on that!

Tulsi Gabbard, on the other hand, is a Democrat, in which case she really couldn't be kicked out: it was she who acted as Bernie's mouth on this matter.

Trump is a piece of crap. There's nothing straight about him at all. He's a con-man of the highest order. Other than give money to the rich he's done nothing: and "nothing," is probably the best that could have been hoped for given that he could have started some wars (he hasn't found one that he feels safe would not undermine his presidency, otherwise he'd be lighting it up). The reason the guy is so good at firing people is because he's so crappy about firing them.

Oh yeah, I have not cast a single vote for anyone I have mentioned here.

evelync , August 12, 2019 at 13:20

Interesting question, Larry Mofield!

Bernie's not a stupid guy and I believe (as does Cornel West and Noam Chomsky) he's dedicated to policies that serve working people and sustainability.(as I see it – reversing the NeoLiberal agenda in order to restore a level playing field for working people and also to shift to a democratic, non imperial foreign policy.)

So why didn't he, let's call him "David", not aim his slingshot at the DNC, let's call it "Goliath"?

Probably because a single stone in a slingshot was hopeless. He was up against a massive corrupt network of hangers on, IMO, who rabidly shouted down the person who dared to question Clinton's policies.

For an even more recent example of a delusional grandiose, imperial mind set, let's take the 200+ people affiliated with the JFK School of Government at Harvard. The ones who accepted the School's shameful withdrawal of Chelsea Manning's honorary fellowship because Pompeo and Morrell attacked it with Cold War rhetoric. Manning's crime? Telling people the truth about horrific wrongdoing she witnessed in Iraq. When I emailed 200 people at the JFK School a shame-on-you letter I heard back from only one who chastised (threatened) me for not understanding "National Security" .say what????) Others chimed in to agree with her. (I shared that email with Robert Parry at the time and he emailed back that he didn't blame me for being outraged. He was such a wonderful person.)

So Bernie had the whole MSNBC related propaganda machine at his throat.
– think Mimi Rocah's recent "he makes my skin crawl" comment, knowing surely, that her words would be applauded over there.
and think all the people who have accepted since 2016 that the Russians cost Hillary Clinton the election in denial over the truth – a flawed candidate who seemed to consider her constituency the big banks and the polluters and the war machine.

I know lifelong conservative Republicans who liked Bernie in 2016 and like him now because they find him truthful but didn't trust Clinton and some voted for Trump in order to beat her.

This country is filled with a patronage network of well off established people including Democrats who believe everything's fine as it is and are willing to shut their eyes to what's not working – the financial crisis of the working class, the racism underlying the for profit prison system and immigration system, the horrific endless regime change wars and the massive deregulation of banks on Bill Clinton's watch and much more, including the Climate Crisis.

It's taken almost 3 years to discredit what apparently was a faux "excuse" why Hillary Clinton lost. Too many voters in key states didn't trust her to serve their interests because she clearly was an apparatchik for the MICIMATT.

Enough of Trump's voters were willing to gamble on this "unknown" character who piggy backed off what Bernie was saying at the time – too bad he was lying ..

rosemerry , August 12, 2019 at 15:39

The whole suggestion has ignored any words and actions of Pres. Putin, who is careful to keep to the truth. He often stated that he would accept whoever the US population chose (ie did not even want to lean towards the one claiming to desire better relations, let alone interfere) because the difference between US administrations was small and policies unlikely to change in 2016. Because the US constantly causes "régime change" does not mean that Russia does. The quick decision to "blame Russia" immediately after Trump's win, activated by Obama expelling diplomats and stealing their US property, set the ball rolling and it has not stopped.

phillip sawicki , August 12, 2019 at 08:37

T he AP and no doubt other media are setting the stage for claiming that if Trump is reelected in 2020, the Russians again were responsible. As HItler learned, repeat a lie often enough and it will assume the appearance of truth. It's not surprising that the Democrats led by Hillary are behind this maneuver. The Dems have been blaming Russia ever since Truman did so in 1945.

Sally Snyder , August 12, 2019 at 08:05

As shown in this article, key Western countries including the United States have put in place a mechanism that is supposed to protect us from election meddling:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-g7-rapid-response-mechanism.html

Given the anti-Russia bias that took root and has become pervasive in the West since 2014 and, in particular, since the Hillary Clinton loss in 2016 which is blamed on Russian-sourced disinformation, it is interesting to see that the G7 has been driven to take extreme moves to battle what they see as an "evil Russia".

jdd , August 12, 2019 at 07:05

Devastating. A cogent and insightful analysis of Judge Koeltl's decision. Thank you Ambassador Murray.

Michaelevan Hammond , August 12, 2019 at 02:16

What's hilarious is that Binney was able to discern that the download was later split in two and then transmitted state side. Think of when you download a movie or a file .. it doesn't come in 2 parts, you either download the whole thing or it is an error/fail. Binney is able to show that the whole thing is one download at 49mbps impossible speed for transatlantic transmission .he absolute fastest you can achieve over the cable is 29mbps ..plus there are 6-12 NSA monitoring junctions added to the cable to capture such things and not one had any Russians attempting to "hack"(2001 term). It was all just deflection for Hillary and she may we'll have selfishly killed the Dems party.

Realist , August 12, 2019 at 00:37

Russiagate is not "dead." It has more lives than a cat bitten by a vampire. It is permanently undead. The antithesis of a dead parrot.

Check out some of its latest incarnations:

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-11/moscow-mitch-secret-russian-subs-and-russophobia-derangement

How many times does Rachel Maddow have to tell you? Anyone who did not vote for Hillary Clinton and refuses to back her never-ending, constantly metamorphosing coup against Trump has got to be a Putin agent even Mitch McConnell. Check back tomorrow for the latest Maddowsplaining on this and other bad crazyness.

Seer , August 12, 2019 at 12:07

I agree. The FACT that the US has been sanctioning Russia for the better part of 100 years pretty much tells it all. It's about the West's ruling elite keeping Their game going: but, nothing lasts forever, and this game is about to run out on them (the perpetual growth model, which has given them their power, is ending).

Realist , August 12, 2019 at 00:18

Unless he was being sarcastic, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough tweeted that the Russians were probably behind Jeff Epstein's "suiciding" in the high security NYC federal lockup!

Anyone who truly believes that Epstein actually took his own life probably does still have a severe case of Putin Derangement Syndrome, aka Russophrenia, Russiagate-itis, -osis or whatever ya wanna call it. Their minds cannot co-exist within both the Deep State Matrix and objective reality at the same time. Blaming all evil in the world on Russia gives them license to act outside conventional morality with impunity.

Mark Stanley , August 12, 2019 at 11:32

Yes, they are endeavoring to tip-toe around this one. If Epstein had started squealing, the excrement would really have hit the fan. After his purported suicide, the smokescreen "conspiracy" word popped up immediately in every mainstream mention of Epstein.
If the populace found out about the deranged sexual practices of too many of the world's elites it would certainly upset the apple cart–to use an American expression.

Seer , August 12, 2019 at 15:51

This IS VERY DEEP! First three parts of this most excellent four part series is available, starting with this one (Mint Press also needs supporting).

https://www.mintpressnews.com/shocking-origins-jeffrey-epstein-blackmail-roy-cohn/260621/

After reading this I now understand why Trump won't release his tax returns.

Realist , August 12, 2019 at 18:12

Seer,

Probably, because like Romney, he didn't pay any.

Dershowitz's client Leonna Helmsley explained the principle decades ago: "Only the little people pay taxes." Probably as truthful a description of the American system as you will ever hear. Sadly, it went down the memory hole because the media will never mention it again. Investigative reporters like David Cay Johnston have to write individually researched books on the subject and hope that the swamp creatures don't seek retribution against him some dark night.

The most the public is ever going to get in this world is perhaps a brief glimmer of the truth through the hard work and suffering of individuals like Assange, Manning and a few other brave altruistic souls, but never justice. The system is set up to sacrifice the lives of millions for the benefit of dozens.

[Aug 12, 2019] Under neoliberalism buying politicians is the most lucrative investment of all

Aug 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

ben , Aug 12 2019 20:50 utc | 133

Hoarsewhisperer@ 73 said;"Buying politicians is the most lucrative investment of all..."

Yep, invest a million here and there, get a Billion back.

snake, thanks for the link. What a sordid mess of cretins.

@128: Interesting theory, but, IMO, DJT is just the latest, in a long line, that do the bidding of the malignant oligarchs, who's vast wealth buys compliance to their needs.


The military is just the enforcement arm of their system..

[Aug 11, 2019] This does significantly strain the overall credibility of the system

Aug 11, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

John Merryman , 10 August 2019 at 06:20 PM

This does significantly strain the overall credibility of the system, among those who would like nothing more than to believe in it, but still have some conscience and working brain cells.

Yet having been raised fairly rural, with a significant respect for the natural cycles, this is nothing so much as watching necrotic tissue decay even further. Only for those raised in fairly sterile conditions, does it seem abnormal.

strateshooter , 11 August 2019 at 09:06 AM
this corruption in US politics and DOJ is now so so pervasive hat I think only way to clear the cancer is for trump to use the Military to replace CIA, FBI, DOJ , clean out the Judges , clean out the Media and start again with STRICT compliance to the Laws of the US Constitution.

The FBI /DOJ is clearly infested with the cancer of corruption.
The DC and NY offices need to be fired in entirety and replaced by mid America new blood.

EK -> strateshooter... , 11 August 2019 at 10:43 AM
I was wondering when I would see a Trump supporter explicitly promoting a military coup in the US in a Trump supportive blog with the alibi of returning to "Constitution and Law strict compliance"...

No wonder a military coup is anti-constitutional....

I always thought all these stories of the "deep state", the "borg", "drainning the swmp", "paedophilia conspiracy theories", "Epstein case", "white supremacism terrorism", and attacks by Trump, and his ideologues, against any US institution, were designed to sow the enough ammount of distrust and confussion amongst the US population so that they become more rone to allow such an outrage...

"The FBI /DOJ is clearly infested with the cancer of corruption."

Mainly since both ends of the bipartisan system try to hijack the independence of some these powers by placing their ideologically kindred men any time they grab presidency. This includes Trump.

"The DC and NY offices need to be fired in entirety and replaced by mid America new blood."

A public officers corps which reachs its position by merits independent from political filiation is the best gurantee for a Constitutional rule and a vaccine against authoritarian aims/intends like coup d´etats.

turcopolier -> EK... , 11 August 2019 at 11:15 AM
EK

I suppose that from your position of "resistance" tht I appear to be a Trump supporter but I am not. I support the constitution and little else.

[Aug 11, 2019] https://www.mintpressnews.com/mega-group-maxwells-mossad-spy-story-jeffrey-epstein-scandal/261172/ by By Whitney Webb

Highly recommended!
Images removed. For full text the original source... test
Notable quotes:
"... Maxwell, who was a business partner of Mega Group co-founder Charles Bronfman, aided the successful Mossad plot to plant a trapdoor in U.S.-created software that was then sold to governments and companies throughout the world. That plot’s success was largely due to the role of a close associate of then-President Ronald Reagan and an American politician close to Maxwell, who later helped aid Reagan in the cover-up of the Iran Contra scandal. ..."
"... Years later, Maxwell’s daughter — Ghislaine Maxwell — would join Jeffrey Epstein’s “inner circle” at the same time Epstein was bankrolling a similar software program now being marketed for critical electronic infrastructure in the U.S. and abroad ..."
"... Epstein appears to have ties to Israeli intelligence and has well-documented ties to influential Israeli politicians and the Mega Group. Yet, those entities are not isolated in and of themselves, as many also connect to the organized crime network and powerful alleged pedophiles discussed in previous installments of this series. ..."
"... Associated Press ..."
"... Lauder, then-ambassador to Austria for the Reagan administration, would have been well-positioned to acquire such a passport, particularly for the reason cited by Epstein’s attorneys that Jewish-Americans could be targeted during travel, and in light of Lauder’s very public concerns over threats Jews face from certain terror groups. Furthermore, the passport had been issued in 1987, when Lauder was still serving as an ambassador. ..."
"... Though Epstein’s defense attorney declined to reveal the identity of the “friend” who provided him with the fake Austrian passport, Lauder was both well-positioned to acquire it in Austria and also deeply connected to the Mega Group, which was co-founded by Epstein’s patron Leslie Wexner and to which Epstein has many connections. These connections to both the Austrian government and to Epstein’s mentor make Lauder the most likely person to have acquired the document on Epstein’s behalf. ..."
"... Furthermore, Lauder co-founded the Eastern European broadcasting network CETV with Mark Palmer, a former U.S. diplomat, Kissinger aide and Reagan speechwriter. Palmer is better known for co-founding the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), an organization often described as an accessory to U.S. intelligence, and one whose first president confessed to the Washington Post that “a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.” A 2001 report in the Evening Standard noted that Epstein once claimed that during the 1980s he worked for the CIA, but Epstein later backed away from that assertion. ..."
"... The Mega Group — a secretive group of billionaires to which Lauder belongs — was formed in 1991 by Charles Bronfman and Leslie Wexner, the latter of whom has received considerable media scrutiny following the July arrest of his former protege Jeffrey Epstein. Media profiles of the group paint it as “a loosely organized club of 20 of the nation’s wealthiest and most influential Jewish businessmen” focused on “philanthropy and Jewishness,” with membership dues upwards of $30,000 per year. Yet several of its most prominent members have ties to organized crime. ..."
"... When Edgar Bronfman died in 2013, long-time ADL Director Abe Foxman said , “Edgar was for many years Chair of our Liquor Industry Division, Chair of our New York Appeal, and one of our most significant benefactors.” Other Mega Group members that are donors and major supporters of the ADL include Ronald Lauder , Michael Steinhardt and the late Max Fisher . As previously mentioned, Roy Cohn’s father was a long-time leader of B’nai B’rith’s influential New England-New York chapter and Cohn was later a celebrated member of its banking and finance lodge. ..."
"... In addition, Mega Group members have also been key players in the pro-Israel lobby in the United States. For instance, Max Fisher of the Mega Group founded the National Jewish Coalition, now known as the Republican Jewish Coalition — the main pro-Israel neoconservative political lobbying group , known for its support of hawkish policies, and whose current chief patrons, Sheldon Adelson and Bernard Marcus, are among Donald Trump’s top donors. ..."
"... Sam Bronfman, as was detailed in Part I of this series, had long-standing deep ties to organized crime, specifically Meyer Lanksy’s organized crime syndicate. Yet, Bronfman’s private ambition, according to those close to him, was to become a respected member of high society. As a consequence, Bronfman worked hard to remove the stain that his mob associations had left on his public reputation in Canada and abroad. He accomplished this by becoming a leader in Canada’s Zionist movement and, by the end of the 1930s, he was head of the Canadian Jewish Congress and had begun to make a name for himself as a philanthropist for Jewish causes. ..."
"... Yet even some of Bronfman’s activism and philanthropy had hints of the mobster-like reputation he tried so hard to shake. For instance, Bronfman was actively involved in the illegal shipping of arms to Zionist paramilitaries in Palestine prior to 1948, specifically as a co-founder of the National Conference for Israeli and Jewish Rehabilitation that smuggled weapons to the paramilitary group Haganah. ..."
"... However, Edgar and Charles Bronfman were hardly the only members of the Mega Group with deep and long-standing ties to the Lansky-led National Crime Syndicate. Indeed, one of the group’s prominent members, hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt, opened up about his own family ties to Lansky in his autobiography No Bull: My Life in and out the Markets , where he noted that his father, Sol “Red McGee” Steinhardt, was Lansky’s jewel fence of choice and a major player in New York’s criminal underworld. Sol Steinhardt was also his son’s first client on Wall Street and helped him jumpstart his career in finance. ..."
"... One surprise connection to Cohn involves Mega Group member, and former president of U.S. weapons firm General Dynamics, Lester Crown, whose brother-in-law is David Schine, Cohn’s confidant and alleged lover during the McCarthy hearings, whose relationship with Cohn helped bring about the downfall of McCarthyism. ..."
"... Leslie “Les” Wexner, the other Mega Group co-founder, also has ties to organized crime. Wexner’s ties to Jeffrey Epstein have come under scrutiny following the latter’s recent arrest, as Wexner was the only publicly acknowledged client of Epstein’s suspicious hedge fund, the source of much of this wealth, and the previous owner of Epstein’s $56 million Manhattan townhouse, which Wexner transferred to an Epstein-controlled entity for free. ..."
"... The 1996 Times article also noted that, after Wexner bought the residence for $13.2 million in 1989, he spent millions more decorating and furnishing the home, including the addition of the electronic equipment in the “James Bond” bathroom, only to apparently never live in it. ..."
"... Farmer’s account strongly suggests that, given the behavior of his personal security staff at his mansion following Epstein’s alleged assault on Farmer, Wexner was well aware of Epstein’s predatory behavior towards young women. This is compounded by claims made by Alan Dershowitz — a former lawyer for and friend of Epstein’s, who has also been accused of raping underage girls — that Wexner has also been accused of raping underage girls exploited by Epstein on at least seven occasions. ..."
"... The report, titled “ Shapiro Homicide Investigation: Analysis and Hypothesis ,” names Leslie Wexner as linked “with associates reputed to be organized crime figures” and also lists the names of businessman Jack Kessler, former Columbus City Council President and Wexner associate Jerry Hammond, and former Columbus City Council member Les Wright as also being involved in Shapiro’s murder. ..."
"... As to Wexner’s alleged links to organized crime, the report focuses on the close business relationship between Wexner’s The Limited and Francis Walsh, whose trucking company “[had] done an excess of 90 percent of the Limited’s trucking business around the time of Shapiro’s murder,” according to the report. Walsh was named in a 1988 indictment as a “co-conspirator” of Genovese crime family boss Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, whose long-time lawyer was Roy Cohn; and the Shapiro murder report stated that Walsh was “still considered associates of the Genovese/LaRocca crime family, and Walsh was still providing truck transportation for The Limited.” ..."
"... According to a source who viewed a copy of the NSA transcript of the conversation, the intelligence officer, speaking in Hebrew, said, ‘The ambassador wants me to go to Mega to get a copy of this letter.’ The source said the supervisor in Tel Aviv rejected the request, saying, ‘This is not something we use Mega for.’” ..."
"... Almost one year to the day after the “Mega” spy scandal broke, the Wall Street Journal was the first outlet to report on the existence of a little-known organization of billionaires that was “informally” called the Mega Group and had been founded years prior in 1991. The report made no mention of the spy scandal that had spread concerns of Israeli espionage in the U.S. only a year prior. However, the group’s distinctive “informal” name and the connections of its members to the Mossad and to high-ranking Israeli politicians, including prime ministers, raise the possibility that “Mega” was not an individual, as the FBI and NSA had believed, but a group. ..."
"... Netanyahu was close enough to Lauder that he personally enlisted Lauder and George Nader to serve as his peace envoys to Syria. ..."
"... Nader, who was connected to the Trump 2016 campaign and Trump ally and Blackwater founder Erik Prince, was recently hit with federal child sex trafficking charges last month, soon after Jeffrey Epstein had been arrested on similar charges. At the time Nader was picked to work with Lauder on Netanyahu’s behalf, he had already been caught possessing large amounts of child pornography on two separate occasions, first in 1984 and later in 1990. ..."
"... Maxwell was also a close associate and friend of Israeli “superspy” Rafi Eitan, who, as previously mentioned, was Jonathan Pollard’s handler and who had previously worked directly with Meyer Lansky. ..."
"... With Inslaw out of the way, Brian sold the software all over the world. Eitan later recruited Robert Maxwell to become another Promis salesman, which he did remarkably well, even succeeding in selling the software to Soviet intelligence and conspiring with Republican Texas Senator John Tower to have the software adopted by the U.S. government laboratory at Los Alamos. Dozens of countries used the software on their most carefully guarded computer systems, unaware that Mossad now had access to everything Promis touched. ..."
"... According to journalist Robert Fisk , Maxwell was also involved in the Mossad abduction of Israeli nuclear weapons whistleblower Vanunu Mordechai. Mordechai had attempted to provide the media with information on the extent of Israel’s nuclear weapons program, which was eventually published by the Sunday Times of London . Yet, Mordechai had also contacted the Daily Mirror with the information, the Mirror being an outlet that was owned by Maxwell and whose foreign editor was a close Maxwell associate and alleged Mossad asset, Nicholas Davies. Journalist Seymour Hersh alleged that Davies had also been involved in Israeli arms deals. ..."
"... Per Fisk, it was Maxwell who contacted the Israeli Embassy in London and told them of Mordechai’s activities. This led to Mordechai’s entrapment by a female Mossad agent who seduced him as part of a “honey trap” operation that led to his kidnapping and later imprisonment in Israel. Mordechai served an 18-year sentence, 12 years of which were in solitary confinement. ..."
"... According to authors Gordon Thomas and Martin Dillon, Maxwell had sealed his own fate when he attempted to threaten top Mossad officials with the exposure of certain operations if they did not help him rescue his media empire from crippling debt and financial difficulties. Many of Maxwell’s creditors , who had grown increasingly displeased with the media mogul, were Israeli and several of them were alleged to be Mossad-connected themselves. ..."
"... Another attendee of the Maxwell yacht party was former Secretary of the Navy and former Henry Kissinger staffer Jon Lehman, who would go on to associate with the controversial neoconservative think tank, Project for a New American Century. Prior to being secretary of the Navy, Lehman had been president of the Abington Corporation, which hired arch-neocon Richard Perle to manage the portfolio of Israeli arms dealers Shlomo Zabludowicz and his son Chaim, who paid Ablington $10,000 month. A scandal arose when those payments continued after both Lehman and Perle joined the Reagan Department of Defense and while Perle was working to persuade the Pentagon to buy arms from companies linked to Zabludowicz. Perle had been part of the Reagan transition team along with Roy Cohn’s long-time friend and law partner Tom Bolan (another Maxwell yacht guest). ..."
"... Even though Jeffrey Epstein appears to have had ties to the Mossad, this series has revealed that the networks to which Epstein was connected were not Mossad-exclusive, as many of the individuals close to Epstein — Lesie Wexner, for instance — were part of a mob-connected class of oligarchs with deep ties to both the U.S. and Israel. ..."
"... Ultimately, the picture painted by the evidence is not a direct tie to a single intelligence agency but a web linking key members of the Mega Group, politicians, and officials in both the U.S. and Israel, and an organized-crime network with deep business and intelligence ties in both nations. ..."
Aug 07, 2019 | www.mintpressnews.com

52 Comments

A s billionaire pedophile and alleged sex-trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein sits in prison, reports have continued to surface about his reported links to intelligence, his financial ties to several companies and “charitable” foundations, and his friendships with the rich and powerful as well as top politicians.

While Part I and Part II of this series, “The Jeffrey Epstein Scandal: Too Big to Fail,” have focused on the widespread nature of sexual blackmail operations in recent American history and their ties to the heights of American political power and the U.S. intelligence community, one key aspect of Epstein’s own sex-trafficking and blackmail operation that warrants examination is Epstein’s ties to Israeli intelligence and his ties to the “informal” pro-Israel philanthropist faction known as “the Mega Group.”

The Mega Group’s role in the Epstein case has garnered some attention, as Epstein’s main financial patron for decades, billionaire Leslie Wexner, was a co-founder of the group that unites several well-known businessmen with a penchant for pro-Israel and ethno-philanthropy (i.e., philanthropy benefiting a single ethnic or ethno-religious group). However, as this report will show, another uniting factor among Mega Group members is deep ties to organized crime, specifically the organized crime network discussed in Part I of this series, which was largely led by notorious American mobster Meyer Lansky.

By virtue of the role of many Mega Group members as major political donors in both the U.S. and Israel, several of its most notable members have close ties to the governments of both countries as well as their intelligence communities. As this report and a subsequent report will show, the Mega Group also had close ties to two businessmen who worked for Israel’s Mossad — Robert Maxwell and Marc Rich — as well as to top Israeli politicians, including past and present prime ministers with deep ties to Israel’s intelligence community.

One of those businessmen working for the Mossad, Robert Maxwell, will be discussed at length in this report. Maxwell, who was a business partner of Mega Group co-founder Charles Bronfman, aided the successful Mossad plot to plant a trapdoor in U.S.-created software that was then sold to governments and companies throughout the world. That plot’s success was largely due to the role of a close associate of then-President Ronald Reagan and an American politician close to Maxwell, who later helped aid Reagan in the cover-up of the Iran Contra scandal.

Years later, Maxwell’s daughter — Ghislaine Maxwell — would join Jeffrey Epstein’s “inner circle” at the same time Epstein was bankrolling a similar software program now being marketed for critical electronic infrastructure in the U.S. and abroad. That company has deep and troubling connections to Israeli military intelligence, associates of the Trump administration, and the Mega Group.

Epstein appears to have ties to Israeli intelligence and has well-documented ties to influential Israeli politicians and the Mega Group. Yet, those entities are not isolated in and of themselves, as many also connect to the organized crime network and powerful alleged pedophiles discussed in previous installments of this series.

Perhaps the best illustration of how the connections between many of these players often meld together can be seen in Ronald Lauder: a Mega Group member, former member of the Reagan administration, long-time donor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s Likud Party, as well as a long-time friend of Donald Trump and Roy Cohn.

From cosmetics heir to political player

One often overlooked yet famous client and friend of Roy Cohn is the billionaire heir to the Estee Lauder cosmetics fortune, Ronald Lauder. Lauder is often described in the press as a “leading Jewish philanthropist” and is the president of the World Jewish Congress, yet his many media profiles tend to leave out his highly political past.

In a statement given by Lauder to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman in 2018, the cosmetics heir noted that he has known Trump for over 50 years, going back at least to the early 1970s. According to Lauder, his relationship with Trump began when Trump was a student at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, which Lauder also attended.

Image deleted: President-elect Trump walks with Ronald Lauder after meeting at Mar-a-Lago, Dec. 28, 2016, in Palm Beach, Fla. Evan Vucci | AP

Though the exact nature of their early friendship is unclear, it is evident that they shared many of the same connections, including to the man who would later count them both as his clients, Roy Cohn. While much has been said of the ties between Cohn and Trump, Cohn was particularly close to Lauder’s mother, Estee Lauder (born Josephine Mentzer). Estee was even counted among Cohn’s most high-profile friends in his New York Times obituary .

A small window into the Lauder-Cohn relationship surfaced briefly in a 2016 article in Politico about a 1981 dinner party held at Cohn’s weekend home in Greenwich, Connecticut. The party was attended by Ronald Lauder’s parents, Estee and Joe, as well as Trump and his then-wife Ivana, who had a weekend home just two miles away. That party was held soon after Cohn had helped Reagan secure the presidency and had reached the height of his political influence. At the party, Cohn offered toasts to Reagan and to then-Senator for New York Alfonse D’Amato, who would later urge Ronald Lauder to run for political office.

Two years later, in 1983, Ronald Lauder — whose only professional experience at that point was working for his parent’s cosmetics company — was appointed to serve as United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Affairs. Soon after his appointment, he served on the Dinner Tribute Committee for a dinner hosted by the Jewish fraternal and strongly pro-Israel organization B’nai B’rith, the parent organization of the controversial Anti-Defamation League (ADL), in Roy Cohn’s honor. Cohn’s influential father, Albert Cohn, was the long-time president of B’nai B’rith’s powerful New England-New York chapter and Roy Cohn himself was a member of B’nai B’rith’s Banking and Finance Lodge.

The dinner specifically sought to honor Cohn for his pro-Israel advocacy and his efforts to “fortify” Israel’s economy, and its honorary chairmen included media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Donald Trump and then-head of Bear Stearns Alan Greenberg, all of whom are connected to Jeffrey Epstein.

During his time as deputy assistant secretary of defense, Lauder was also very active in Israeli politics and had already become an ally of the then-Israeli representative to the United Nations and future prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. Lauder would go on to be one of the most important individuals in Netanyahu’s rise to power, particularly during his upset victory in 1996, and a major financier of Israel’s right-wing Likud Party.

In 1986, the year that Roy Cohn died, Lauder left his post at the Pentagon and became the U.S. ambassador to Austria, where his tenure was shaped by his confrontations with the then-Austrian president and former Nazi collaborator, Kurt Waldheim. Lauder’s interest in Austrian politics has continued well into recent years, culminating in accusations that he sought to manipulate Austrian elections in 2012.

After leaving his ambassadorship, Lauder founded the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation in 1987 and later went on to run for Mayor of New York against Rudy Giuliani in 1989. Lauder was encouraged to run by then-Senator Alfonse D’Amato, who had close ties to Roy Cohn and his long-time law partner Tom Bolan, who was D’Amato’s adviser . At the aforementioned 1983 B’nai B’rith dinner honoring Cohn, D’Amato was the featured speaker.

The likely reason was that Giuliani, though once an ally of the “Roy Cohn machine,” was at the time deeply disliked by the late Cohn’s associates for prosecuting Cohn’s former law partner, Stanley Friedman, for racketeering, conspiracy and other charges. Giuliani also had a history of bitter disagreements with D’Amato. Lauder’s primary campaign, though unsuccessful, was noted for its viciousness and its cost, as it burned through more than $13 million.

A few years later, in the early 1990s, Lauder would join a newly formed group that has long evaded scrutiny from the media but has recently become of interest in connection with the Jeffrey Epstein scandal: the Mega Group.

Lauder, Epstein and the mysterious Austrian passport

Before getting to the Mega Group, it is worth noting one particular act apparently undertaken by Lauder while he was U.S. ambassador to Austria that has recently come to light in relation to the arrest in early July of Jeffrey Epstein, a finding first reported by journalist Edward Szall. When police recently discovered an Austrian passport with Epstein’s picture and a fake name after raiding his Manhattan residence, the source and purpose of the passport came under media scrutiny.

According to the Associated Press , Epstein’s defense lawyers specifically argued that “a friend gave it to him [Epstein] in the 1980s after some Jewish-Americans were informally advised to carry identification bearing a non-Jewish name when traveling internationally during a period when hijackings were more common.” This claim appears to be related to concerns that followed the hijacking of Air France Flight 139 in 1976 when Israeli and Jewish hostages were separated from other hostages based largely on the passports in their possession.

Given that Epstein was unable to meet the conventional qualifications for an Austrian passport — including long-term residency in Austria (the passport lists him as a resident of Saudi Arabia) and fluency in German — it appears that the only way to have acquired an Austrian passport was by unconventional means, meaning assistance from a well-connected Austrian official or foreign diplomat with clout in Austria.

Image deleted: Ronald Lauder, right, and Austrian Chancellor Viktor Klima pose with students from the Lauder Chabad School in Vienna, Austria in 1999. Martin Gnedt | AP

Lauder, then-ambassador to Austria for the Reagan administration, would have been well-positioned to acquire such a passport, particularly for the reason cited by Epstein’s attorneys that Jewish-Americans could be targeted during travel, and in light of Lauder’s very public concerns over threats Jews face from certain terror groups. Furthermore, the passport had been issued in 1987, when Lauder was still serving as an ambassador.

In addition, Lauder was well-connected to Epstein’s former patron — former head of Bear Stearns Alan Greenberg, who had hired Epstein in the late 1970s immediately after the latter was fired from the Dalton School — and Donald Trump, another friend of Lauder and Greenberg who began his friendship with Epstein in 1987, the same year the fake Austrian passport was issued. In 1987, Epstein also began his relationship with his principal financier, Leslie Wexner, who is also closely associated with Lauder (though some sources claim that Epstein and Wexner first met in 1985 but that their strong business relationship was not established until 1987).

Though Epstein’s defense attorney declined to reveal the identity of the “friend” who provided him with the fake Austrian passport, Lauder was both well-positioned to acquire it in Austria and also deeply connected to the Mega Group, which was co-founded by Epstein’s patron Leslie Wexner and to which Epstein has many connections. These connections to both the Austrian government and to Epstein’s mentor make Lauder the most likely person to have acquired the document on Epstein’s behalf.

Furthermore, Epstein and the Mega Group’s ties to the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad, also suggest Lauder was involved in procuring the passport, in light of his close ties to the Israeli government and the fact that Mossad has a history of using ambassadors abroad to procure false, foreign passports for its operatives.

Lauder himself has been alleged to have ties to Mossad, as he is a long-time funder of IDC Herzliya, an Israeli university closely associated with Mossad and their recruiters as well as Israeli military intelligence. Lauder even founded IDC Herzliya’s Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy.

Furthermore, Lauder co-founded the Eastern European broadcasting network CETV with Mark Palmer, a former U.S. diplomat, Kissinger aide and Reagan speechwriter. Palmer is better known for co-founding the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), an organization often described as an accessory to U.S. intelligence, and one whose first president confessed to the Washington Post that “a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.” A 2001 report in the Evening Standard noted that Epstein once claimed that during the 1980s he worked for the CIA, but Epstein later backed away from that assertion.

The origins of the Mega Group Mafia

The Mega Group — a secretive group of billionaires to which Lauder belongs — was formed in 1991 by Charles Bronfman and Leslie Wexner, the latter of whom has received considerable media scrutiny following the July arrest of his former protege Jeffrey Epstein. Media profiles of the group paint it as “a loosely organized club of 20 of the nation’s wealthiest and most influential Jewish businessmen” focused on “philanthropy and Jewishness,” with membership dues upwards of $30,000 per year. Yet several of its most prominent members have ties to organized crime.

Mega Group members founded and/or are closely associated with some of the most well-known pro-Israel organizations. For instance, members Charles Bronfman and Michael Steinhardt formed Birthright Taglit with the backing of then- and current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Steinhardt, an atheist, has stated that his motivation in helping to found the group was to advance his own belief that devotion to and faith in the state of Israel should serve as “a substitute for [Jewish] theology.”

Other well-known groups associated with the Mega Group include the World Jewish Congress — whose past president, Edgar Bronfman, and current president, Ronald Lauder, are both Mega Group members — and B’nai B’rith, particularly its spin-off known as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The Bronfman brothers were major donors to the ADL, with Edgar Bronfman serving as the ADL’s honorary national vice-chair for several years.

Image deleted: Former Israeli president Shimon Peres, second from left, listens to Edgar Bronfman during a 1995 lunch thrown in Peres’ honor. From left are: Laurence Tisch, Chairman, President and Chief executive officer of CBS; Israeli Ambassador to the United States. Itamar Rabinowitz and Bronfman. David Karp | AP

When Edgar Bronfman died in 2013, long-time ADL Director Abe Foxman said , “Edgar was for many years Chair of our Liquor Industry Division, Chair of our New York Appeal, and one of our most significant benefactors.” Other Mega Group members that are donors and major supporters of the ADL include Ronald Lauder , Michael Steinhardt and the late Max Fisher . As previously mentioned, Roy Cohn’s father was a long-time leader of B’nai B’rith’s influential New England-New York chapter and Cohn was later a celebrated member of its banking and finance lodge.

In addition, Mega Group members have also been key players in the pro-Israel lobby in the United States. For instance, Max Fisher of the Mega Group founded the National Jewish Coalition, now known as the Republican Jewish Coalition — the main pro-Israel neoconservative political lobbying group , known for its support of hawkish policies, and whose current chief patrons, Sheldon Adelson and Bernard Marcus, are among Donald Trump’s top donors.

Though the Mega Group has officially existed only since 1991, the use of “philanthropy” to provide cover for more unscrupulous lobbying or business activities was pioneered decades earlier by Sam Bronfman, the father of Mega Group members Edgar and Charles Bronfman. While other North American elites like J.D. Rockefeller had previously used philanthropic giving as a means of laundering their reputations, Bronfman’s approach to philanthropy was unique because it was focused on giving specifically to other members of his own ethno-religious background.

Sam Bronfman, as was detailed in Part I of this series, had long-standing deep ties to organized crime, specifically Meyer Lanksy’s organized crime syndicate. Yet, Bronfman’s private ambition, according to those close to him, was to become a respected member of high society. As a consequence, Bronfman worked hard to remove the stain that his mob associations had left on his public reputation in Canada and abroad. He accomplished this by becoming a leader in Canada’s Zionist movement and, by the end of the 1930s, he was head of the Canadian Jewish Congress and had begun to make a name for himself as a philanthropist for Jewish causes.

Yet even some of Bronfman’s activism and philanthropy had hints of the mobster-like reputation he tried so hard to shake. For instance, Bronfman was actively involved in the illegal shipping of arms to Zionist paramilitaries in Palestine prior to 1948, specifically as a co-founder of the National Conference for Israeli and Jewish Rehabilitation that smuggled weapons to the paramilitary group Haganah.

At the same time Bronfman was abetting the illegal smuggling of weapons to the Haganah, his associates in the criminal underworld were doing the same. After World War II, close aides of David Ben-Gurion, who would later become the first prime minister of Israel and was instrumental in the founding of Mossad, forged tight-knit relationships with Meyer Lansky, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, Mickey Cohen and other Jewish gangsters of the period. They used their clandestine networks to establish a vast arms smuggling network between the United States and Zionist settlements in Palestine, arming both the Haganah and the Irgun paramilitary groups. As noted in Part I of this report, at the same time these gangsters were aiding the illegal arming of ZIonsit paramilitaries, they were strengthening their ties to U.S. intelligence that had first been formally (though covertly) established in World War II.

After Israel was founded, Sam Bronfman worked with future Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres to negotiate the sale of Canadian armaments at half-price to Israel and the bargain weapons purchase was paid for entirely by a fundraising dinner hosted by Bronfman and his wife. Many years later, Peres would go on to introduce another future prime minister of Israel, Ehud Barak, to Jeffrey Epstein.

The rest of the Bronfman family’s march on “the road to respectability” was undertaken by Bronfman’s children, who married into aristocratic families such as the European Rothschilds and the Wall Street “royalty” of the Lehmans and the Loebs .

The Bronfmans’ newfound respectability did not mean that their association with the Lansky-led criminal empire had dissolved. Indeed, prominent members of the Seagrams dynasty came under fire in the 1960s and 1970s for their close association with Willie “Obie” Obront, a major figure in Canadian organized crime, whom Canadian professor Stephen Schneider has referred to as the Meyer Lansky of Canada.

However, Edgar and Charles Bronfman were hardly the only members of the Mega Group with deep and long-standing ties to the Lansky-led National Crime Syndicate. Indeed, one of the group’s prominent members, hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt, opened up about his own family ties to Lansky in his autobiography No Bull: My Life in and out the Markets , where he noted that his father, Sol “Red McGee” Steinhardt, was Lansky’s jewel fence of choice and a major player in New York’s criminal underworld. Sol Steinhardt was also his son’s first client on Wall Street and helped him jumpstart his career in finance.

The ties between the Mega Group and the National Crime Syndicate don’t stop there. Another prominent member of the Mega Group with ties to this same criminal network is Max Fisher, who has been described as Wexner’s mentor and is also alleged to have worked with Detroit’s “Purple Gang” during Prohibition and beyond. The Purple Gang were part of the network that smuggled Bronfman liquor from Canada into the United State during Prohibition, and one of its founders, Abe Bernstein, was a close associate of both Meyer Lansky and Moe Dalitz. Fisher was a key adviser to several U.S. presidents, beginning with Dwight D. Eisenhower, as well as to Henry Kissinger.

Image removed: Max Fisher, center, and Henry Kissinger, right, meet with leaders of Jewish organizations prior to Kissinger’s 1975 Middle East trip. Henry Burroughs | AP

In addition to Fisher, Mega Group member Ronald Lauder was connected to Roy Cohn and Tom Bolan, both of whom were closely associated with this same Lansky-led crime network (see Part I and Part II ) and who regularly represented top Mafia figures in court. Furthermore, another member of the Mega Group, director Steven Spielberg, is a well-known protege of Lew Wasserman, the mob-connected media mogul and long-time backer of Ronald Reagan’s film and later political career, discussed in Part II of this series.

One surprise connection to Cohn involves Mega Group member, and former president of U.S. weapons firm General Dynamics, Lester Crown, whose brother-in-law is David Schine, Cohn’s confidant and alleged lover during the McCarthy hearings, whose relationship with Cohn helped bring about the downfall of McCarthyism.

Another member of the Mega Group worth noting is Laurence Tisch, who owned CBS News for several years and founded Loews Corporation. Tisch is notable for his work for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor to the CIA, where Donald Barr, who hired Epstein at the Dalton School, also served and which forged ties with Lansky’s criminal empire during World War II.

Wexner’s mansions and the Shapiro murder

Leslie “Les” Wexner, the other Mega Group co-founder, also has ties to organized crime. Wexner’s ties to Jeffrey Epstein have come under scrutiny following the latter’s recent arrest, as Wexner was the only publicly acknowledged client of Epstein’s suspicious hedge fund, the source of much of this wealth, and the previous owner of Epstein’s $56 million Manhattan townhouse, which Wexner transferred to an Epstein-controlled entity for free.

Before Epstein received the townhouse, Wexner appears to have used the residence for some unconventional purposes, noted in a 1996 New York Times article on the then-Wexner-owned residence, which included “a bathroom reminiscent of James Bond movies: hidden beneath a stairway, lined with lead to provide shelter from attack and supplied with closed-circuit television screens and a telephone, both concealed in a cabinet beneath the sink.” The Times article does not speculate as to the purpose of this equipment, though the allusion to famous fictional superspy James Bond suggests that it may have been used to snoop on guests or conduct electronic surveillance.

The 1996 Times article also noted that, after Wexner bought the residence for $13.2 million in 1989, he spent millions more decorating and furnishing the home, including the addition of the electronic equipment in the “James Bond” bathroom, only to apparently never live in it. The Times , which interviewed Epstein for the piece, quoted him as saying that “Les never spent more than two months there.” Epstein told the Times , which identified Epstein as Wexner’s “protege and one of his financial advisers,” that the house, by that time, already belonged to him.

That same year, Epstein was commissioning artwork for Wexner’s Ohio mansion. A recent article from the Times noted that:

In the summer of 1996, Maria Farmer was working on an art project for Mr. Epstein in Mr. Wexner’s Ohio mansion. While she was there, Mr. Epstein sexually assaulted her, according to an affidavit Ms. Farmer filed earlier this year in federal court in Manhattan. She said that she fled the room and called the police, but that Mr. Wexner’s security staff refused to let her leave for 12 hours.”

Farmer’s account strongly suggests that, given the behavior of his personal security staff at his mansion following Epstein’s alleged assault on Farmer, Wexner was well aware of Epstein’s predatory behavior towards young women. This is compounded by claims made by Alan Dershowitz — a former lawyer for and friend of Epstein’s, who has also been accused of raping underage girls — that Wexner has also been accused of raping underage girls exploited by Epstein on at least seven occasions.

The presence of the electronic equipment in his home’s bathroom, other oddities related to the townhouse, and aspects of the links between Epstein and Wexner suggest there is more to Wexner, who has rather successfully developed a public image of a respectable businessman and philanthropist, much like other prominent members of the Mega Group.

Image removed: Leslie Wexner and his wife Abigail tour the “Transfigurations” exhibit at the Wexner Center for the Arts. Jay LaPrete | AP

However, bits and pieces of Wexner’s private secrets have occasionally bubbled up, only to be subjected to rapid cover-ups amidst concerns of “libeling” the powerful and well-connected billionaire “philanthropist.”

In 1985, Columbus (Ohio) lawyer Arthur Shapiro was murdered in broad daylight at point-blank range in what was largely referred to as a “mob style murder.” The homicide still remains unsolved, likely due to the fact that then-Columbus Police Chief James Jackson ordered the destruction of key documents of his department’s investigation into the murder.

Jackson’s ordering of the documents’ destruction came to light years later in 1996, when he was under investigation for corruption. According to the Columbus Dispatch , Jackson justified the destruction of one “ viable and valuable ” report because he felt that it “was so filled with wild speculation about prominent business leaders that it was potentially libelous.” The nature of this “wild speculation” was that “millionaire businessmen in Columbus and Youngstown were linked to the ‘mob-style murder.’”

Though Jackson’s efforts were meant to keep this “libelous” report far from public view, it was eventually obtained by Bob Fitrakis — attorney, journalist, and executive director of the Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism — after he was “accidentally” sent a copy of the report in 1998 as part of a public records request.

The report, titled “ Shapiro Homicide Investigation: Analysis and Hypothesis ,” names Leslie Wexner as linked “with associates reputed to be organized crime figures” and also lists the names of businessman Jack Kessler, former Columbus City Council President and Wexner associate Jerry Hammond, and former Columbus City Council member Les Wright as also being involved in Shapiro’s murder.

The report also noted that Arthur Shapiro’s law firm — Schwartz, Shapiro, Kelm & Warren — represented Wexner’s company, The Limited, and states that “prior to his death, Arthur Shapiro managed this account [The Limited] for the law firm.” It also noted that, at the time of his death, Shapiro “was the subject of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service because he had failed to file income tax returns for some seven years prior to his death, and he had invested in some questionable tax shelters.” It also stated that his death prevented Shapiro from his planned testimony at a grand jury hearing about these “questionable tax shelters.”

As to Wexner’s alleged links to organized crime, the report focuses on the close business relationship between Wexner’s The Limited and Francis Walsh, whose trucking company “[had] done an excess of 90 percent of the Limited’s trucking business around the time of Shapiro’s murder,” according to the report. Walsh was named in a 1988 indictment as a “co-conspirator” of Genovese crime family boss Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, whose long-time lawyer was Roy Cohn; and the Shapiro murder report stated that Walsh was “still considered associates of the Genovese/LaRocca crime family, and Walsh was still providing truck transportation for The Limited.”

Notably, the Genovese crime family has long formed a key part of the National Crime Syndicate, as its former head, Charles “Lucky” Luciano, co-created the criminal organization with his close friend Meyer Lansky. Upon Luciano’s imprisonment and subsequent deportation from the United States, Lansky took over the syndicate’s U.S. operations and his association with Luciano’s successors continued until Lansky’s death in 1983.

The “Mega” Mystery and the Mossad

In May 1997, the Washington Post broke an explosive story — long since forgotten — based on an intercepted phone call made between a Mossad official in the U.S. and his superior in Tel Aviv that discussed the Mossad’s efforts to obtain a secret U.S. government document. According to the Post, the Mossad official stated during the phone call that “Israeli Ambassador Eliahu Ben Elissar had asked him whether he could obtain a copy of the letter given to [Palestinian leader Yasser] Arafat by [then-Secretary of State Warren] Christopher on Jan. 16, the day after the Hebron accord was signed by Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.”

The Post article continued:

According to a source who viewed a copy of the NSA transcript of the conversation, the intelligence officer, speaking in Hebrew, said, ‘The ambassador wants me to go to Mega to get a copy of this letter.’ The source said the supervisor in Tel Aviv rejected the request, saying, ‘This is not something we use Mega for.’”

The leaked communication led to an investigation that sought to identify an individual code-named “Mega” that the Post said “may be someone in the U.S. government who has provided information to the Israelis in the past,” a concern that subsequently spawned a fruitless FBI investigation. The Mossad later claimed that “Mega” was merely a codeword for the U.S.’ CIA, but the FBI and NSA were unconvinced by that claim and believed that it was a senior U.S. government official that had potentially once been involved in working with Jonathan Pollard, the former U.S. naval intelligence analyst later convicted of spying for the Mossad.

Almost one year to the day after the “Mega” spy scandal broke, the Wall Street Journal was the first outlet to report on the existence of a little-known organization of billionaires that was “informally” called the Mega Group and had been founded years prior in 1991. The report made no mention of the spy scandal that had spread concerns of Israeli espionage in the U.S. only a year prior. However, the group’s distinctive “informal” name and the connections of its members to the Mossad and to high-ranking Israeli politicians, including prime ministers, raise the possibility that “Mega” was not an individual, as the FBI and NSA had believed, but a group.

In 1997, when the “Mega” spy scandal broke, Netanyahu had recently become prime minister of Israel after an upset victory, a victory that was largely credited to one well-connected Netanyahu backer in particular, Ronald Lauder. Beyond being a major donor, Lauder had brought Arthur Finklestein on to work for Netanyahu’s 1996 campaign, whose strategies were credited for Netanyahu’s surprise win. Netanyahu was close enough to Lauder that he personally enlisted Lauder and George Nader to serve as his peace envoys to Syria.

Image removed: Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara with Ronald Lauder in 1997. Photo | Reuters

Nader, who was connected to the Trump 2016 campaign and Trump ally and Blackwater founder Erik Prince, was recently hit with federal child sex trafficking charges last month, soon after Jeffrey Epstein had been arrested on similar charges. At the time Nader was picked to work with Lauder on Netanyahu’s behalf, he had already been caught possessing large amounts of child pornography on two separate occasions, first in 1984 and later in 1990.

This strong connection between Netanyahu and Lauder during the time of the 1997 “Mega” spy scandal is important considering Mossad answers directly to Israel’s prime minister.

Another possible connection between the Mega Group and the Mossad owes to the Mega Group’s ties to Meyer Lansky’s criminal network. As was detailed in Part I, Lansky had established deep ties to U.S. intelligence after World War II and was also connected to the Mossad through Mossad official Tibor Rosenbaum, whose bank was frequently used by Lansky to launder money. In addition, Lansky collaborated on at least one occasion with notorious Mossad “superspy” Rafi Eitan, who he helped acquire sensitive electronic equipment possessed only by the CIA but coveted by Israeli intelligence. Eitan is best known in the U.S. for being the Mossad handler of Jonathan Pollard.

Notably, Eitan was the main source of claims that the code-word “Mega” used by the Mossad officials in 1997 referred to the CIA and not to a potential source in the U.S. government once linked to Pollard’s spying activities, making his claims as to the true meaning of the term somewhat dubious.

Given that the organized crime network tied to the Mega Group had ties to both U.S. and Israeli intelligence, the “Mega” codeword could plausibly have referred to this secretive group of billionaires. More supporting evidence for this theory comes from the fact that prominent members of the Mega Group were business partners of Mossad agents, including media mogul Robert Maxwell and commodities trader Marc Rich.

The mysterious Maxwells

The Maxwell family has become a source of renewed media interest following Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest, as Ghislaine Maxwell, long described in the media as a British “socialite,” was publicly cited as Epstein’s long-time “on and off” girlfriend, and Epstein’s victims, as well as former wives of Epstein’s friends, have claimed that she was Epstein’s “pimp” and procured underage girls for his sexual blackmail operation. Ghislaine Maxwell is also alleged to have engaged in the rape of the girls she procured for Epstein and to have used them to produce child pornography.

Ghislaine was the favorite and youngest daughter of media mogul Robert Maxwell. Maxwell, born Jan Ludvick Hoch, had joined the British Army in World War II. Afterwards, according to authors John Loftus and Mark Aarons , he greatly influenced the Czechoslovakian government’s decision to arm Zionist paramilitaries during the 1948 war that resulted in Israel’s creation as a state, and Maxwell himself was also involved in the smuggling of aircraft parts to Israel.

Around this time, Maxwell was approached by British intelligence outfit MI6 and offered a position that Maxwell ultimately declined. MI6 then classified him as “Zionist — loyal only to Israel” and made him a person of interest. He later became an agent of the Mossad, according to several books including Seymour Hersh’s The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy, and Robert Maxwell: Israel’s Superspy by Gordon Thomas and Martin Dillon.

According to Victor Ostrovsky , a former Mossad case officer:

Mossad was financing many of its operations in Europe from money stolen from Maxwell’s newspaper pension fund. They got their hands on the funds almost as soon as Maxwell made the purchase of the Mirror Newspaper Group with money lent to him by Mossad.”

In exchange for his services, the Mossad helped Maxwell satisfy his sexual appetite during his visits to Israel, providing him with prostitutes, “the service maintained for blackmail purposes.” It was later revealed that the hotel in which he stayed in Israel was bugged with cameras, allowing the Mossad to acquire “a small library of video footage of Maxwell in sexually compromising positions.” As with the CIA, the Mossad’s use of blackmail against both friend and foe is well-documented and known to be extensive .

Maxwell was also a close associate and friend of Israeli “superspy” Rafi Eitan, who, as previously mentioned, was Jonathan Pollard’s handler and who had previously worked directly with Meyer Lansky. Eitan had learned of a revolutionary new software being used by the U.S. government known as “Promis” from Earl Brian, a long-time associate and aide to Ronald Reagan. Promis is often considered the forerunner to the “Prism” software used by spy agencies today and was developed by William Hamilton, who leased the software to the U.S. government through his company, Inslaw, in 1982.

Image removed: Ariel Sharon (right)meets with Robert Maxwell in Jerusalem on Feb. 20, 1990. Photo | AP

According to author and former BBC investigative journalist Gordon Thomas, Brian was angry that the U.S. Department of Justice was successfully using Promis to go after organized crime and money-laundering activities and Eitan felt that the program could aid Israel. At the time, Eitan was the director of the now defunct Israeli military intelligence agency Lekem, which gathered scientific and technical intelligence abroad from both public and covert sources, especially in relation to Israel’s nuclear weapons program.

A plan was hatched to install a “trapdoor” into the software and then market Promis throughout the world, providing the Mossad with invaluable intelligence on the operations of its enemies and allies while also providing Eitan and Brian with copious amounts of cash. According to the testimony of ex-Mossad official Ari Ben-Menashe, Brian provided a copy of Promis to Israel’s military intelligence, which contacted an Israeli American programmer living in California who then planted the “trapdoor” in the software. The CIA was later said to have installed its own trapdoor in the software but it is unknown if they did so with a version of the already bugged software and how widely it was adopted relative to the version bugged by Israeli intelligence.

After the trapdoor was inserted, the problem became selling the bugged version of the software to governments as well as private companies around the world, particularly in areas of interest. Brian first attempted to buy out Inslaw and Promis and then use that same company to sell the bugged version.

Unsuccessful, Brian turned to his close friend, then-Attorney General Ed Meese whose Justice Department then abruptly refused to make the payments to Inslaw that were stipulated by the contract, essentially using the software for free, which Inslaw claimed to be theft. Some have speculated that Meese’s role in that decision was shaped, not only by his friendship with Brian, but the fact that his wife was a major investor in Brian’s business ventures. Meese would later become an adviser to Donald Trump when he was president-elect.

Inslaw was forced to declare bankruptcy as a result of Meese’s actions and sued the Justice Department. The court later found that the Meese-led department “took, converted, stole” the software through “trickery, fraud and deceit.”

With Inslaw out of the way, Brian sold the software all over the world. Eitan later recruited Robert Maxwell to become another Promis salesman, which he did remarkably well, even succeeding in selling the software to Soviet intelligence and conspiring with Republican Texas Senator John Tower to have the software adopted by the U.S. government laboratory at Los Alamos. Dozens of countries used the software on their most carefully guarded computer systems, unaware that Mossad now had access to everything Promis touched.

Whereas the Mossad’s past reliance on gathering intelligence had relied on the same tactics used by its equivalents in the U.S. and elsewhere, the widespread adoption of the Promis software, largely through the actions of Earl Brian and Robert Maxwell, gave the Mossad a way to gather not just troves of counterintelligence data, but also blackmail on other intelligence agencies and powerful figures.

Indeed, Promis’ backdoor and adoption by intelligence agencies all over the world essentially provided the Mossad with access to troves of blackmail that the CIA and FBI had acquired on their friends and foes for over half a century. Strangely, in recent years, the FBI has sought to hide information related to Robert Maxwell’s connection to the Promis scandal.

According to journalist Robert Fisk , Maxwell was also involved in the Mossad abduction of Israeli nuclear weapons whistleblower Vanunu Mordechai. Mordechai had attempted to provide the media with information on the extent of Israel’s nuclear weapons program, which was eventually published by the Sunday Times of London . Yet, Mordechai had also contacted the Daily Mirror with the information, the Mirror being an outlet that was owned by Maxwell and whose foreign editor was a close Maxwell associate and alleged Mossad asset, Nicholas Davies. Journalist Seymour Hersh alleged that Davies had also been involved in Israeli arms deals.

Per Fisk, it was Maxwell who contacted the Israeli Embassy in London and told them of Mordechai’s activities. This led to Mordechai’s entrapment by a female Mossad agent who seduced him as part of a “honey trap” operation that led to his kidnapping and later imprisonment in Israel. Mordechai served an 18-year sentence, 12 years of which were in solitary confinement.

Then, there is the issue of Maxwell’s death, widely cited by mainstream and independent media alike as suspicious and a potential homicide . According to authors Gordon Thomas and Martin Dillon, Maxwell had sealed his own fate when he attempted to threaten top Mossad officials with the exposure of certain operations if they did not help him rescue his media empire from crippling debt and financial difficulties. Many of Maxwell’s creditors , who had grown increasingly displeased with the media mogul, were Israeli and several of them were alleged to be Mossad-connected themselves.

Thomas and Dillon argue in their biography of Maxwell’s life that the Mossad felt that Maxwell had become more of a liability than an asset and killed him on his yacht three months after he demanded the bailout. On the other extreme are theories that suggest Maxwell committed suicide because of the financial difficulties his empire faced.

Image removed: Ghislaine Maxwell, far right, Robert Maxwell’s daughter, looks on his casket is unloaded from a plane in Jerusalem, Nov. 8, 1991. Heribert Proepper | AP

Some have taken Maxwell’s funeral held in Israel as the country’s “official” confirmation of Maxwell’s service to the Mossad, as it was likened to a state funeral and attended by no less than six serving and former heads of Israeli intelligence. During his funeral service in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir eulogized him and stated : “He has done more for Israel than can today be said.” Other eulogies were given by future Prime Ministers Ehud Olmert (then Health Minister) and Shimon Peres, with the latter also praising Maxwell’s “services” on behalf of Israel.

Swimming in the same swamp

As he built his business empire — and even became a member of Parliament, Maxwell was also doing work for Israeli intelligence, as several of the Israeli companies in which he invested became fronts for the Mossad. In addition, as he became a media mogul, he developed a bitter rivalry with Rupert Murdoch, a close friend of Roy Cohn and an influential figure in American and British media.

Maxwell also partnered with the Bronfman brothers, Edgar and Charles — key figures in the Mega Group. In 1989 Maxwell and Charles Bronfman partnered up to bid on the Jerusalem Post newspaper and the Post described the two men as “two of the world’s leading Jewish financiers” and their interest in the venture as “developing The Jerusalem Post and expanding its influence among world Jewry.” A year prior, Maxwell and Bronfman had become top shareholders in the Israeli pharmaceutical company Teva.

Maxwell also worked with Charles Bronfman’s brother Edgar in the late 1980s to convince the Soviet Union to allow Soviet Jews to immigrate to Israel. Edgar’s efforts in this regard have received more attention , as it was a defining moment of his decades-long presidency of the World Jewish Congress, of which Ronald Lauder is currently president. Yet, Maxwell had also made considerable use of his contacts in the Soviet government in this effort.

Maxwell also moved in the circles of the network previously described in Parts I and II in this series. A key example of this is the May 1989 party Maxwell hosted on his yacht, the Lady Ghislaine — named for his youngest daughter and Epstein’s future “girlfriend.” Attendees of the party included Roy Cohn’s protege Donald Trump and his long-time law partner Tom Bolan. A close friend of Nancy Reagan was also present, journalist Mike Wallace, as was literary agent Mort Janklow, who represented Ronald Reagan and two of Cohn’s closest friends: journalists William Safire and Barbara Walters.

The CEO of what would soon become Time Warner, Steve Ross, was also invited to the exclusive event. Ross’ presence is notable, as he had built his business empire largely through his association with New York crime lords Manny Kimmel and Abner “Longy” Zwillman. Zwillman was a close friend of Meyer Lansky, Michael Steinhardt’s father, and Sam Bronfman, father of Edgar and Charles Bronfman.

Another attendee of the Maxwell yacht party was former Secretary of the Navy and former Henry Kissinger staffer Jon Lehman, who would go on to associate with the controversial neoconservative think tank, Project for a New American Century. Prior to being secretary of the Navy, Lehman had been president of the Abington Corporation, which hired arch-neocon Richard Perle to manage the portfolio of Israeli arms dealers Shlomo Zabludowicz and his son Chaim, who paid Ablington $10,000 month. A scandal arose when those payments continued after both Lehman and Perle joined the Reagan Department of Defense and while Perle was working to persuade the Pentagon to buy arms from companies linked to Zabludowicz. Perle had been part of the Reagan transition team along with Roy Cohn’s long-time friend and law partner Tom Bolan (another Maxwell yacht guest).

In addition to Lehman, another former Kissinger staffer, Thomas Pickering was present at Maxwell’s yacht part. Pickering played a minor role in the Iran-Contra affair and, at the time of the Maxwell yacht party, he was U.S. ambassador to Israel. Senator John Tower (R-TX), who allegedly conspired with Maxwell in the Mossad-bugged Promis software at the Los Alamos laboratories, was also present. Tower died just months before Maxwell in a suspicious plane crash .

Ghislaine Maxwell was also at this rather notable event. After her father’s mysterious death and alleged murder on the same yacht that bears her name in 1991, she quickly packed her bags and moved to New York City. There, she soon made the acquaintance of Jeffrey Epstein and, a few years later, developed close ties to the Clinton family, which will be discussed in the next installment of this series.

Jeffrey Epstein and the new “Promis”

After it was revealed that Epstein had evaded stricter sentencing in 2008 due to his links to “intelligence,” it was the Mossad ties of Ghislaine Maxwell’s father that have led many to speculate that Epstein’s sexual blackmail operation was sharing incriminating information with the Mossad. Former CBS executive producer and current journalist for the media outlet Narativ , Zev Shalev, has since claimed that he independently confirmed that Epstein was tied directly to the Mossad.

Image removed: Donald and Melania Trump with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida in 2000. Photo | Davidoff Studios

Epstein was a long-time friend of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who has long-standing and deep ties to Israel’s intelligence community. Their decades-long friendship has been the source of recent political attacks targeting Barak, who is running in the Israeli elections against current Prime Minister Netanyahu later this year.

Barak is also close to Epstein’s chief patron and Mega Group member Leslie Wexner, whose Wexner Foundation gave Barak $2 million in 2004 for a still unspecified research program. According to Barak, he was first introduced to Epstein by former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, who eulogized Robert Maxwell at his funeral and had decades-long ties with the Bronfman family going back to the early 1950s. Peres was also a frequent participant in programs funded by Leslie Wexner in Israel and worked closely with the Mossad for decades.

In 2015, a few years after Epstein’s release from prison following his conviction for soliciting sex from a minor in 2008, Barak formed a company with Epstein with the chief purpose of investing in an Israeli start-up then known as Reporty. That company, now called Carbyne, sells its signature software to 911 call centers and emergency service providers and is also available to consumers as an app that provides emergency services with access to a caller’s camera and location and also runs any caller’s identity through any linked government database. It has specifically been marketed by the company itself and the Israeli press as a solution to mass shootings in the United States and is already being used by at least two U.S. counties.

Israeli media reported that Epstein and Barak were among the company’s largest investors. Barak poured millions into the company and it was recently revealed by Haaretz that a significant amount of Barak’s total investments in Carbyne was funded by Epstein, making him a “ de facto partner” in the company. Barak is now Carbyne’s chairman .

The company’s executive team are all former members of different branches of Israeli intelligence, including the elite military intelligence unit, Unit 8200, that is often likened to Israel’s equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). Carbyne’s current CEO, Amir Elichai, served in Unit 8200 and tapped former Unit 8200 commander Pinchas Buchris to serve as the company’s director and on its board. In addition to Elichai, another Carbyne co-founder, Lital Leshem , also served in Unit 8200 and later worked for Israeli private spy company Black Cube. Leshem now works for a subsidiary of Erik Prince’s company Frontier Services Group, according to the independent media outlet Narativ .

The company also includes several tie-ins to the Trump administration, including Palantir founder and Trump ally Peter Thiel — an investor in Carbyne. In addition, Carbyne’s board of advisers includes former Palantir employee Trae Stephens, who was a member of the Trump transition team, as well as former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. Trump donor and New York real-estate developer Eliot Tawill is also on Carbyne’s board , alongside Ehud Barak and Pinchas Buchris.

Narativ , which wrote the first expose on Carbyne after Epstein’s arrest, noted that the Chinese government uses a smartphone app very similar to Carbyne as part of its mass surveillance apparatus, even though the original purpose of the app was for improved emergency reporting. According to Narativ , the Chinese Carbyne-equivalent “monitors every aspect of a user’s life, including personal conversations, power usage, and tracks a user’s movement.”

Given the history of Robert Maxwell — the father of Epstein’s long-time “girlfriend” and young-girl-procuring madam, Ghislaine Maxwell — in promoting the sale of Carbyne’s modified Promis software, which was also marketed as a tool to improve government efficacy but was actually a tool of mass surveillance for the benefit of Israeli intelligence, the overlap between Carbyne and Promis is troubling and warrants further investigation.

It is also worth noting that Unit 8200-connected tech start-ups are being widely integrated into U.S. companies and have developed close ties to the U.S. military-industrial complex, with Carbyne being just one example of that trend.

As MintPress previously reported , Unit 8200-linked outfits like Team8 have recently hired former National Security Agency (NSA) Director Mike Rogers as a senior advisor and gained prominent Silicon Valley figures, including former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, as key investors. Many American technology companies, from Intel to Google to Microsoft, have merged with several Unit 8200-connected start-ups in recent years and have been moving many key jobs and operations to Israel with backing from key Republican donors like Paul Singer . Many of those same companies, particularly Google and Microsoft, are also major U.S. government contractors.

Who was Epstein really working for?

Even though Jeffrey Epstein appears to have had ties to the Mossad, this series has revealed that the networks to which Epstein was connected were not Mossad-exclusive, as many of the individuals close to Epstein — Lesie Wexner, for instance — were part of a mob-connected class of oligarchs with deep ties to both the U.S. and Israel. As was discussed in Part I of this series, the sharing of “intelligence” (i.e., blackmail) between intelligence agencies and the same organized crime network connected to the Mega Group goes back decades. With Leslie Wexner of the Mega Group as Epstein’s chief patron, as opposed to a financier with direct ties to the Mossad, a similar relationship is more than likely in the case of the sexual blackmail operation that Epstein ran.

Given that intelligence agencies in both the U.S. and elsewhere often conduct covert operations for the benefit of oligarchs and large corporations as opposed to “national security interest,” Epstein’s ties to the Mega Group suggest that this group holds a unique status and influence in both the governments of the U.S. and of Israel, as well as in other countries (e.g., Russia) that were not explored in this report. This is by virtue of their role as key political donors in both countries, as well as the fact that several of them own powerful companies or financial institutions in both countries. Indeed, many members of the Mega Group have deep ties to Israel’s political class, including to Netanyahu and Ehud Barak as well as to now-deceased figures like Shimon Peres, and to members of the American political class.

Ultimately, the picture painted by the evidence is not a direct tie to a single intelligence agency but a web linking key members of the Mega Group, politicians, and officials in both the U.S. and Israel, and an organized-crime network with deep business and intelligence ties in both nations.

Though this series has so far focused on the ties of this network to main Republican Party affiliates, the next and final installment will reveal the ties developed between this web and the Clintons. As will be revealed, despite the Clintons’ willingness to embrace corrupt dealings during the span of their political careers, their mostly friendly relationship with this network still saw them use the power of sexual blackmail to obtain certain policy decisions that were favorable to their personal and financial interests but not to the Clintons’ political reputation or agendas.

Editor’s note | The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Rafi Eitan was interested in repurposing the American-made Promise software to restore his standing in Israel’s intelligence community caused by the fall-out from the Pollard Affair. The Pollard Affair occurred three years after Eitan had succeeded in repurposing the software and MintPress has removed that incorrect information from the article and regrets the error.

This article also originally neglected to mention that Eitan, at the time of his collaboration with Earl Brian to repurpose the Promis software, was the director of the now-defunct Israeli military intelligence agency Lekem at the time of those events and that information has been added to the story.

Feature photo | Graphic by Claudio Cabrera

Whitney Webb is a MintPress News journalist based in Chile. She has contributed to several independent media outlets including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has made several radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism.

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[Aug 11, 2019] The likelihood of Epstein committing suicide reminds me of two other "suicide" stories

Notable quotes:
"... A black man's body is found wrapped in chains at the bottom of the Detroit River. The police were saying it was an accidental death caused by him stealing more chains than he could swim with. ..."
Aug 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

Curmudgeon , says: August 10, 2019 at 9:58 pm GMT

The likelihood of Epstein committing suicide reminds me of two other "suicide" stories.

... ... ...

Finally, there is a greatly modified joke from my long ago misspent youth. A black man's body is found wrapped in chains at the bottom of the Detroit River. The police were saying it was an accidental death caused by him stealing more chains than he could swim with.

Looks like Jeffrey had too many chains.

[Aug 08, 2019] Biden, Sanders, and Warren are the only candidates with support in the double digits

Notable quotes:
"... Warren has the best potential to grow ..."
"... Among the reasons why Biden, Sanders, and Warren will be difficult to topple from the top tier: a significant portion of their supporters say they have made up their minds about the race. ..."
"... This is especially the case with Sanders. Nearly half -- 48 percent -- of his supporters said they would definitely vote for him... ..."
Aug 08, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , August 07, 2019 at 05:42 AM

The top tier of Democrats in NH is
starting to solidify, and more poll takeaways
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/08/06/the-top-tier-democrats-starting-solidify-and-more-poll-takeaways/y4SYgN0uzQPs9SZH0xYvjM/story.html?event=event25
via @BostonGlobe - August 6

A new poll out Tuesday on the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary shows the outcome is anyone's guess between former vice president Joe Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Beyond which candidate had what level of support in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary -- scheduled for February 2020 -- a deeper dive into the Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll provides a number of other big-picture takeaways.

The top tier is hard to crack

Biden, Sanders, and Warren are the only candidates with support in the double digits (21 percent, 17 percent, and 14 percent, respectively), and a closer read suggests that might not change anytime soon. Much of this has to do with the fact that a significant portion of their support is locked down. Nearly half of Sanders' and Biden's supporters in the poll say they their mind is made up and they aren't looking at supporting anyone else in the field. Something dramatic could occur, of course, but odds are that the status quo will remain for a while.

Further, if there are big changes in the race, the poll found that Warren, not someone else outside of the top three, is in the best position to benefit. Warren was the "second choice" of 21 percent of respondents. No one else was even close to her in that category.

While Sanders has support locked down now, and Warren has the best potential to grow , Biden, it appears, has his own lane of supporters that no other candidate is even contesting. Biden's support is very strong among older voters, moderates, and union members. For the most part, these voters aren't even looking at other options.

New Hampshire Democrats are moderate

For all the conversation about how far left the Democratic Party has moved in recent years, the poll shows likely Democratic primary voters have not moved the same way. Yes, a majority back the Green New Deal concept and Medicare for All, but more than 50 percent describe themselves as either moderate, conservative, or very conservative. This is compared with the 45 percent who say they are either liberal or very liberal. While this might seem like a near tie, consider this survey polled likely Democratic voters -- the party's base -- which is the most liberal. ...

Biden, Sanders, and Warren top
post-debate survey of NH Democrats
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/08/06/biden-sanders-and-warren-top-postdebate-survey-democrats/OQFDiH2UeFSbEj0i4DRNCL/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

... In fourth place is Senator Kamala Harris of California at 8 percent, followed by South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 6 percent and Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii at 3 percent.

Among the reasons why Biden, Sanders, and Warren will be difficult to topple from the top tier: a significant portion of their supporters say they have made up their minds about the race.

This is especially the case with Sanders. Nearly half -- 48 percent -- of his supporters said they would definitely vote for him...

Graphic: See key results from the Suffolk/Globe poll
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/08/06/poll-suffolk-university-boston-globe-poll-puts-biden-atop-democratic-primary/c5k6eDUNmU5VlDWsAU91yM/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , August 07, 2019 at 09:45 AM
Biden seems to have the democrat "NH state machine" who did okay in 2016, the delegation all democrats in lock step with the crooked DNC.

Sad that Bernie has to be hitched to the saddest excuse for a party since the Nixon GOP.

[Aug 03, 2019] Sanders and Warren voters have astonishingly little in common

Aug 03, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Christopher H. , July 23, 2019 at 10:34 AM

Remember all those lies Krugman, EMike and Kurt said about "Bernie Bros?" Well turns out they are the out of touch elites, not Sanders supporters. They were projecting. Krugman won't even go all in for Warren!!!

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/12/sanders-warren-voters-2020-1408548

Sanders and Warren voters have astonishingly little in common
His backers are younger, make less money, have fewer degrees and are less engaged in politics.

By HOLLY OTTERBEIN
07/12/2019 05:01 AM EDT

PHILADELPHIA -- Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are two of the most ideologically aligned candidates in the Democratic primary -- both left-wing populists who rail against a "rigged" economic system.

But the fellow enemies of the 1 percent have surprisingly different bases of support.

In poll after poll, Sanders appeals to lower-income and less-educated people; Warren beats Sanders among those with postgraduate degrees. Sanders performs better with men, Warren with women. Younger people who vote less frequently are more often in Sanders' camp; seniors who follow politics closely generally prefer Warren.

Sanders also has won over more African Americans than Warren: He earns a greater share of support from black voters than any candidate in the race except for Joe Biden, according to the latest Morning Consult surveys.

For progressive activists, who are gathering this week in Philadelphia at the annual Netroots Nation conference, it's both promising and a source of concern that the two leading left-wingers in the primary attract such distinct fans. It demonstrates that a progressive economic message can excite different parts of the electorate, but it also means that Sanders and Warren likely need to expand their bases in order to win the Democratic nomination.

Put another way, if their voters could magically be aligned behind one or the other, it would vastly increase the odds of a Democratic nominee on the left wing of the ideological spectrum.

The fact that Warren and Sanders' bases don't perfectly overlap hasn't garnered much public attention, but it's something very much on the minds of their aides and allies.

"It shows that the media does not base their perceptions on data that is publicly available," said Ari Rabin-Havt, chief of staff to the Sanders campaign. "I think people develop overly simplistic views of politics that presume that people who live in the real world think the same way as elite media in D.C. and New York."

It's not a given that Sanders voters would flock to Warren, or vice versa, if one of them left the race and endorsed the other. In Morning Consult, Reuters-Ipsos and Washington Post-ABC News polls, more Sanders supporters name Biden as their second choice than Warren -- and a higher percentage of Warren voters pick Kamala Harris as their No. 2 than Sanders, according to recent surveys.

Wes Bode, a retired contractor in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa, illustrates the point: He said he likes that Sanders has "new ideas," such as free college tuition, and recently attended one of his town halls in the state. But he's fond of Biden, too, because he's "for the working man."

It might seem unusual that a voter's top picks for 2020 are the two candidates who best represent the opposite poles of the Democratic Party. But a person like Bode is actually more common than someone like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose favorites are Sanders and Warren.

For Sanders, the need to grow his base is a problem that dates back to his 2016 run. He failed to win the nomination that year in large part because he was unable to win over older voters, especially older voters of color.

"Two places where Bernie has always struggled with is older voters and women to some degree," said Mark Longabaugh, a top strategist to Sanders in 2016. "Warren is identifiably a Democrat and runs as a Democrat, so I think many more establishment Democrats in the party are more drawn to her -- whereas Bernie very intentionally ran for reelection as an independent and identifies as an independent, and appeals to those who look inside the Democratic Party and think it's not their thing."

During the 2020 campaign, Sanders' advisers have acknowledged that he needs to appeal more to older voters, and he's recently been holding more intimate events in the early states that tend to attract more senior crowds than his rallies do. His team is also trying hard to expand the primary electorate by turning out infrequent voters.

Warren, meanwhile, is aggressively working to win African American support. Her allies argue that her performance at events such as Al Sharpton's National Action Network convention and the She the People conference show that she has room to grow among black voters.

"If you were looking to buy a rising stock, you would look at future market share and indicators of strong fundamentals," said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which backs Warren. "Elizabeth Warren has consistently connected on a gut level with black audiences ... getting standing ovations after connecting her inspiring plans to her personal story of struggle growing up poor in Oklahoma and being a single mom in Texas."

Several Democratic operatives said they believe Warren has the ability to expand her base to include black women in particular.

"She impressed 2,000 top women of color activists at [our conference]," said Aimee Allison, founder of She the People. "Elizabeth Warren has deepened, sharpened and made racial justice a grounding component of her policies."

A look at their poll numbers shows how distinct the pools of support for Sanders vs. Warren are.

Twenty-two percent of Democratic primary voters who earn less than $50,000 annually support Sanders, while 12 percent are for Warren, according to an average of the past four weeks of Morning Consult polling. Of those without college degrees, 22 percent are behind Sanders; 10 percent back Warren.

Roughly the same percentage of voters with bachelor's degrees -- 16 percent and 15 percent, respectively -- support Sanders and Warren. But among those with postgraduate degrees, 12 percent are for Sanders and 19 percent are for Warren.

There's a similar split based on age, gender and interest in politics. Sanders wins more than one-third of the 18- to 29-year-olds, while Warren gets 11 percent of them. Warren has the support of 13 percent of those aged 30 to 44, 12 percent of those aged 45 to 54, and 13 percent of those aged both 55 to 64 and 65 and up. Sanders' support goes down as the age of voters goes up: He is backed by 25 percent of 30- to 44-year-olds, 17 percent of 45- to 54-year-olds, 12 percent of 55- to 64-year-olds, and 8 percent of those 65 and older.

Twenty percent of men support Sanders and 11 percent support Warren; 18 percent of women are behind Sanders and 14 percent are behind Warren.

Warren also performs best among voters who are "extremely interested" in politics (winning 17 percent of them), while Sanders is strongest among those who are "not at all interested" (26 percent).

As for black voters, 19 percent are behind Sanders, while 9 percent support Warren.

With Biden still atop most polls, even after a widely panned performance at the first Democratic debate, some progressives still fear that Warren and Sanders could divide the left and hand the nomination to the former vice president.

"There's a lot of time left in this campaign," said Sean McElwee, co-founder of the liberal think tank Data for Progress. "But one thing that's clear is that it's very important for the left that we ensure that we don't split the field and allow someone like Joe Biden to be the nominee."

[Aug 03, 2019] Warren has moved beyond campaign rhetoric by introducing Bill on student debt in the Senate and a co-bill in the House by Rep. Clyburn

Aug 03, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc , July 24, 2019 at 04:58 AM

S. Warren has moved beyond campaign rhetoric by introducing this Bill in the Senate and a co-bill in the House by Rep. Clyburn

She's REAL, not a phony like the others

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/news/elizabeth-warren-on-student-loans-new-bill-would-cancel-debt-for-millions/ar-AAEK4MO

"Elizabeth Warren on student loans: New bill would cancel debt for millions"

By Katie Lobosco, CNN...18 hrs ago

"Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is introducing a bill Tuesday that would cancel the student loan debts of tens of millions of Americans, a plan she first proposed on the campaign trail in April.

The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate is partnering with South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, also a Democrat, who will sponsor companion legislation in the House.

The bill would forgive $50,000 in student loans for Americans in households earning less than $100,000 a year, resulting in immediate relief to more than an estimated 95% of the 45 million Americans with student debt.

For those earning more than $100,000, the bill would offer partial debt relief with the amount getting gradually smaller until it phases out. Households that make more than $250,000 are not eligible for any debt relief.

Warren's campaign has said that she would pay for the debt relief -- as well as her plan to make tuition free at public colleges -- with revenue from her proposed wealth tax. It would assess a 2% tax on wealth above $50 million and a 3% tax on wealth above $1 billion.

The one-time debt cancellation could cost $640 billion, the campaign has said."...

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to im1dc... , July 24, 2019 at 05:24 AM
MSN: ...

Warren's campaign has said that she would pay for the debt relief -- as well as her plan to make tuition free at public colleges -- with revenue from her proposed wealth tax. It would assess a 2% tax on wealth above $50 million and a 3% tax on wealth above $1 billion.

The one-time debt cancellation could cost $640 billion, the campaign has said.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, another Democratic presidential hopeful, also has a student debt cancellation proposal. But his goes further and would cancel all $1.6 trillion in outstanding loan debt. There would be no eligibility limitations and it would be paid for with a new tax on Wall Street speculation. Sanders has proposed making tuition free at public colleges, as well.

As proposed, Warren's bill would ensure that the debt canceled would not be taxed as income. Those borrowers with private loans would be allowed to convert them into federal loans so that they could be forgiven. ...

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , July 26, 2019 at 07:13 AM
Elizabeth Warren's Wealth
Tax. How Would That Even Work?
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/18/upshot/warren-wealth-tax.html
NYT - Neil Irwin - Feb. 18, 2019

When the United States government wants to raise money from individuals, its mode of choice, for more than a century, has been to tax what people earn -- the income they receive from work or investments.

But what if instead the government taxed the wealth you had accumulated?

That is the idea behind a policy Senator Elizabeth Warren has embraced in her presidential campaign. It represents a more substantial rethinking of the federal government's approach to taxation than anything a major presidential candidate has proposed in recent memory -- a new wealth tax that would have enormous implications for inequality.

It would shift more of the burden of paying for government toward the families that have accumulated fortunes in the hundreds of millions or billions of dollars. And over time, such a tax would make it less likely that such fortunes develop.

What is the Warren plan?

Developed by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, two University of California, Berkeley, economists who are leading scholars of inequality, the proposal is to tax a family's wealth above $50 million at 2 percent a year, with an additional surcharge of 1 percent on wealth over $1 billion.

Mr. Saez and Mr. Zucman estimate that 75,000 households would owe such a tax, or about one out of 1,700 American families.

A family worth $60 million would owe the federal government $200,000 in wealth tax, over and above what they may owe on income from wages, dividends or interest payments.

If the estimates of his net worth are accurate, Mr. Buffett would owe the I.R.S. about $2.5 billion a year, in addition to income or capital gains taxes. The Waltons would owe about $1.3 billion each.

The tax would therefore chip away at the net worth of the extremely rich, especially if they mainly hold investments with low returns, like bonds, or depreciating assets like yachts.

It would work a little like the property tax that most cities and states impose on real estate, an annual payment tied to the value of assets rather than income. But instead of applying just to homes and land, it would apply to everything: fine art collections, yachts and privately held businesses.

What are the arguments against it?

They are both philosophical and practical.

On the philosophical side, you can argue that people who have earned money, and paid appropriate income tax on it, are entitled to the wealth they accumulate.

Moreover, the wealth that individual families accumulate under the current system is arguably likelier to be put to work investing in large-scale projects that make the economy stronger. They can invest in innovative companies, for example, or huge real estate projects, in ways that small investors generally can't. ...

[Aug 03, 2019] Here is Yggies commenting on Warren's trade plan.

Aug 03, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Christopher H. , July 29, 2019 at 10:32 AM

Liz Warren's new plan on trade. Will PK, EMike or Kurt comment?

https://medium.com/@teamwarren/trade-on-our-terms-ad861879feca

Christopher H. said in reply to Christopher H.... , July 29, 2019 at 10:37 AM
here is Yggies commenting on the plan. He's a good stand in for the centrists I mentioned.

https://www.vox.com/2019/7/29/8933825/elizabeth-warren-trade-economic-patriotism

all seems pretty vague

[Aug 03, 2019] The Best Guide For The Perplexed Progressive in 2020 is 2016 by John V. Walsh

Aug 01, 2019 | www.unz.com

2016 was widely recognized as the year of "populism," more adequately described as the year of revolt against the political Establishment -- in both Parties. The Democratic Primary in 2016 was a battle of progressive forces against the Democratic Establishment, and the battle lines were clearly drawn. Those lines remain much the same as we approach 2020.

On the Progressive or Populist side were those who opposed the endless wars in the Middle East, and on the Establishment side those who supported those long and bloody wars. On the Progressive Side were those who supported badly needed domestic reforms, most notably Medicare for All, which after all is a reform of almost 20% of the entire economy and a reform that has to do with life itself. In contrast on the Establishment side were those who supported ObamaCare, a device for leaving our health care to the tender mercies of the Insurance behemoths with its ever increasing premiums and ever decreasing coverage.

In 2016 the pundits gave progressives little chance of success. Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in, we were all assured by a horde of "reliable sources." And given the control that the Clintonites exercised over the Democratic Party apparatus, there was little prospect of a successful rebellion and every chance of having one's career badly damaged by opposing Party elite. Summer soldiers and duplicitous candidates were not interested in challenging the Establishment.

In 2016 Bernie Sanders was the only politician who was willing to take on the Establishment. Although not technically a Democrat, he caucused with them and worked with them. And he was a lifelong, reliable and ardent advocate for Medicare for All and a consistent opponent of the endless wars. For these things he was prepared to do battle against overwhelming odds on the chance that he might prevail and because from his grass roots contacts he sensed that a rebellion was brewing.

In 2016 only one among the current crop of candidates followed Bernie, supported him and joined him on the campaign trail -- Tulsi Gabbard. At the time she was a two term Congresswoman and Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), a career building position, from which she would have to resign in order to support one of the candidates. Moreover, reports said she bridled at the internal bias of the DNC in favor of Hillary. To express her displeasure with the DNC and to support Bernie, she had to defy the Clinton Establishment, which might even have terminated her political career. But she was a foe of the endless wars, partly based on her own experience as a National Guard member who had been deployed to Iraq in a medical unit and saw the ravages of war first hand. So she joined Bernie, introducing him at many of his rallies and strengthening his antiwar message.

Bernie and Tulsi proved themselves in the defining battle of 2016. They let us know unequivocally where they stand. And Bernie might well have won the nomination were he not cheated out of it by the Establishment which continues to control the levers of power in the Democratic Party to this day.

In 2016 these two stood in stark contrast to the other 2020 Democratic candidates. Let us take one example of these others, Elizabeth Warren, a darling of the main stream media which often refers to her as ideologically aligned to Bernie Sanders. Perhaps she is so aligned at times -- at least in words; she is after all in favor of Medicare for All, although she hastens to add that she is "open to other approaches." That qualifier is balm to the ears of the Insurance behemoths. Translation: she has already surrendered before the battle has begun.

In 2016 a critical primary for Bernie was Masschusetts where Senator Warren wields considerable influence. Clinton defeated Sanders there by a mere 1.5% whereas she had lost to Obama there by 15% in 2008. Wikipedia has this to say of the primary:

"Following the primary, Elizabeth Warren, the state's senior US senator, was widely criticized by Sanders supporters online for her refusal to endorse him prior to the primary. Supporters of Bernie Sanders have argued that an endorsement from Warren, whose political positions were similar to that of Sanders's, and who was a frequent critic of Hillary Clinton in the past, could have handed Massachusetts to him. "

One must conclude that either Warren does not genuinely share the views of Sanders or she is loath to buck the Establishment and fight for those views. In either event she, and the others who failed to back Bernie in 2016, are not made of the stuff that can win Medicare for All, bring an end to the regime change wars and illegal sanctions of the last four or more administrations, begin serious negotiations to end the existential nuclear peril, and address the many other problems facing us and all of humanity.

John V. Walsh can be reached at john.endwar@gmail.com

Anonymous [322] • Disclaimer , says: August 1, 2019 at 4:26 am GMT

“Bernie walked the walk”
When was that? The time he toured through Baltimore and called it a third world city while assiduously not discussing how, why, and because of who it became so?
The way he openly sold out to Clinton and ducked into his new third manor house to avoid being held to task for leaving his base out to dry the very moment they were ready to seriously break ranks from the neolib political machine?
Is he walking the walk now as he tries to rationalize away his underpaying of his campaign workers and cuts hours to minimize the costs of the 15 dollar floor price he demanded for everyone other employer?
The man is a DNC stooge through and through.
And Tulsi being anti-war out of personal squeamishness doesn’t make up for the rest of her painfully party-line-compliant platform, particularly when the Deep State has multiple active avenues available to at the very least keep our military presence still existing military presence trapped and held hostage. All the dove cooing in recorded world history won’t hold up when, not if, Britain or France or whoever deliberately sinks another navy vessel and drags her by the hair into another desert scrum.
Daniel Rich , says: August 1, 2019 at 6:09 am GMT
@Anonymous Quote: “When was that?”

Reply: The moment he endorsed HRC and showed his true colors.

Kronos , says: August 1, 2019 at 8:15 am GMT
@Tusk As with the 1960 Presidential Election, Hillary stole that election fair and square. Had Sanders went full third party, it would’ve destroyed the Democrats outright. Despite Clinton’s cheating, Bernie went ahead and bent the knee. Strangely enough, Trump’s victory saved Sanders and his faction. Had Clinton won, she would’ve purged the Sanders supporters relentlessly.

There is such a thing as a tactical retreat. Now he’s able to play again.

Nik , says: August 1, 2019 at 8:15 am GMT
I dont remember either Bernard Saunders or Tulsi Gabbard even uttering the word Apartheid.

These peopke are hypnotized

alexander , says: August 1, 2019 at 9:35 am GMT
The reality, Mr. Walsh,

is that our “establishment elite” have failed the United States of America.

How, you may ask ?

The answer is simple.

By defrauded us into multiple illegal wars of aggression they have bankrupted the entire nation.

The iron fact is that because our “elites” lied us into illegal war we are now 22.5 trillion dollars in heinous debt.

Why is this okay ?

The answer is simple.

It is not okay, NOT AT ALL .

And it is not enough (anymore) to just demand we “end our wars”, Mr. Walsh.

The cost in treasure has been too high and the burden on the US taxpayer too obscene.

Without demanding “accountability” from our elites, who lied us into this catastrophe, our nation is most probably going under.

I say…. make them pay …”every penny”…. for the cost of the wars they lied us into.

An initiative, like the “War fraud Accountability Act” (retroactive to 2002) would do just that.

it would replenish the coffers of our nation with all the assets of the larcenous profiteers who deceived us all….into heinous war debt.

As we witness the rise of China as the new global economic powerhouse, we can see first hand how a nation can rise to immense wealth and global influence “precisely because” it was never deceived by its “ruling class” into squandering all its resources initiating and fighting endless criminal wars.

Just imagine where the USA would be today, had we chosen the same course.

stone cold , says: August 1, 2019 at 10:25 am GMT
Until Dems are willing to refuse to depend on Haim Saban’s “generous donation” to the Dem candidate, none of their candidates will deserve to be the the POTUS candidate. Ditto for the Republicans and their fetish with Shelly Adelson. Candidates must kowtow to Israel or else there will be no dough for them and they might even be challenged in their incumbencies next time around by ADL/AIPAC. Until we get rid of Israeli money and political power, we are toast.
War for Blair Mountain , says: August 1, 2019 at 11:47 am GMT
You left out two facts:

1)Both Sanders and Gabbard are onboard for going to war against Christian Russia over Crimea..Sanders has gone so far as saying that a Military response against Russia is an option if all else fails in getting Russia out of Crimea…

2)Both Sanders and Gabbard are waging a war of RACIAL EXTERMINATION against Working Class Native Born White American Males….And that’s WHITE GENOCIDE!!!!

Justvisiting , says: August 1, 2019 at 12:54 pm GMT
@Kronos Bernie “bent the knee” once and got to enjoy his lakeside home and his wife protected from fraud prosecution after she stole money from People’s United Bank for her college scam.

He is owned.

If Tulsi were a serious threat she would be neutralized one way or another.

“Progressives” are virtue signaling fools–the kleptocracy marches on and laughs at them.

concerned , says: August 1, 2019 at 1:14 pm GMT
Check out “The National Security State Needs an Enemy: Senator Warren Warns About “White Supremacist” Threat” by Kurt Nimmo at:

https://www.globalresearch.ca/state-needs-enemy-warren-warns-about-white-supremacist-threat/5685241?print=1

One has to wonder where Dems like Warren and their identity politics is taking the US. Will everyone who even slightly disagrees with them be labeled a terrorist?

[Aug 02, 2019] Trade -- On Our Terms

Aug 02, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , July 30, 2019 at 09:13 AM

https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/1156228417601376257

Paul Krugman‏ @paulkrugman

OK, obviously I need to weigh in on Elizabeth Warren's trade proposal. I've been a huge fan of her plans so far. This one, not so much, although some of the critiques are overdone 1/

https://medium.com/@teamwarren/trade-on-our-terms-ad861879feca

Trade -- On Our Terms
By Elizabeth Warren

Last month, I released my economic patriotism agenda -- my commitment to fundamentally changing the government's approach to the economy so that we put the interests of American workers and families ahead of the interests of multinational corporations. I've already released my ideas for applying economic patriotism to manufacturing and to Wall Street. This is my plan for using economic patriotism to overhaul our approach to trade.

8:41 AM - 30 Jul 2019

The truth is that this would have been a bad and destructive plan if implemented in, say, 1980. At this point it's still problematic, but not disastrous (this is going to be a long tweet storm) 2/

Background: the way we currently do trade negotiations is that professionals negotiate out of public view, but with input from key business players. Then Congress gets an up or down vote on the result 3/

This can sound like a process rigged in favor of special interests. But it was created by FDR, and its actual intent was largely the opposite. It took away the ability of Congresspeople to stuff trade bills with goodies for their donors and districts 4/

And while business interests certainly got a lot of input, it was set up in a way that set different groups against each other -- exporters versus import-competing industries -- and this served the interests of the general public 5/

Without this system we wouldn't have achieved the great opening of world markets after World War II -- and that opening was a very good thing overall, especially for poor countries, and helped promote peace 6/

So what has changed? The key point is that the system pretty much achieved its goals; we're a low-tariff world. And that has had a peculiar consequence: these days "trade negotiations" aren't mainly about trade, they're about intellectual property and regulation 7/

And it's not at all clear that such deals are actually good for the world, which is why I was a soft opponent of TPP 8/

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/11/tpp-at-the-nabe/

TPP at the NABE

Not to keep you in suspense, I'm thumbs down. I don't think the proposal is likely to be the terrible, worker-destroying pact some progressives assert, but it doesn't look like a good thing either for the world or for the United States, and you have to wonder why the Obama administration, in particular, would consider devoting any political capital to getting this through.

So what Warren proposes is that we partially unravel the system FDR built, making trade negotiations more transparent and giving Congress a bigger role in shaping the deals. This sounds more democratic, but that's a bit deceiving 9/

Mainly it would substitute one kind of special interest distortion for another. That would have been a clearly bad thing when trade deals were actually about trade. Today, I think it's ambiguous 10/

Warren would also expand the criteria for trade policy to include a number of non-trade goals, like labor rights and environmental protection. Here again there are arguments on both sides 11/

On one side, the potential for abuse would be large -- we could be slapping tariffs on countries for all kinds of reasons, turning trade policy into global power politics, which would be really bas for smaller, weaker countries 12/

On the other hand, there are some cases where trade policy will almost surely have to be used to enforce some common action. If we ever do act on climate change, carbon tariffs will be needed to discipline free riders 13/

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/29/climate-trade-obama/

Climate, Trade, Obama

I think the president has this wrong:

"President Obama on Sunday praised the energy bill passed by the House late last week as an 'extraordinary first step,' but he spoke out against a provision that would impose trade penalties on countries that do not accept limits on global warming pollution."

And I also think the report gives a false impression of what this is about, making it seem as if it's nothing but dirty politics...

Overall, this is the weakest Warren plan so far. (Still waiting to hear from her on health care! Harris has taken point there, and done it well) But it's not bad enough to change the verdict that she's the strongest contender on policy grounds 14/

Christopher H. , July 30, 2019 at 09:32 AM
Krugman starting to turn on Warren.
Christopher H. said in reply to Christopher H.... , July 30, 2019 at 09:43 AM
He backs Harris's attempt to split difference on health care reform.

The problem with PK and Kurt and EMike is that if you don't deliver better services and rising living standards - no matter the excuses we don't care about your excuses -
you're going to get more racism, demagogues like Trump and toxic politics.

The Dems's track record for the past 40 years is objectively awful. PK lives in a rich man's bubble if he believes corporate trade has been good for humanity and peace.

Look at the world!

Christopher H. said in reply to Christopher H.... , July 30, 2019 at 09:47 AM
Krugman argues trading order was built by FDR. It wasn't.
Plp -> Christopher H.... , July 30, 2019 at 10:48 AM
Krugman has COSMO liberal scruples
About raising nationalist priorities

If he took Dean bakers line
He could avoid taking national sides

Be for the wage class and the toiling masses
Globally

Best possible Trade policy is simplified

Example
Intellectual property
Should not exist
It's bad for emerging systems
And advance systems both
If your frame is best for wage earners

And toiling masses

ilsm -> Christopher H.... , July 30, 2019 at 01:58 PM
Harris is all for keeping FIRE profiting on the US health system, like she is for filling profitable prisons in Cali!

Harris a charter member of the DNC committee to re-elect Trump.

Plp -> Christopher H.... , July 30, 2019 at 09:50 AM
Perhaps he is just revealing why he supported neo liberal trade policy
In the Reagan Clinton era

He's a cormopolite not a nationalist

And his frame is common humanity
Not the us wage class


Now we see what happens when multinational corporations get free reign as they did since the end of Bretton woods

Managed world trade from 1946 to 1971
Is probably the baby PK doesn't want to throw out
With the bath water accumulated since 1971

[Aug 02, 2019] During the debate, Warren argued no first use of neclear weapons policy would make the world safer

Aug 02, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to ilsm... , July 31, 2019 at 12:23 PM

Warren, Bullock spar over 'no first use' nuclear policy https://thehill.com/policy/defense/455472-warren-bullock-spar-over-no-first-use-nuclear-policy

Rebecca Kheel - July 30

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) sparred Tuesday night over her proposed "no first use" policy on nuclear weapons during the Democratic debate.

In defending the proposed policy, Warren argued for diplomatic and economic solutions to conflict, saying "we should not be asking our military to take on jobs that do not have a military solution."

But Bullock opposed that proposal, saying, "I don't want to turn around and say, 'Well, Detroit has to be gone before we would ever use that.'"

Warren is the lead sponsor of the Senate version of a bill that would make it U.S. policy not to use nuclear weapons first.

It has long been the policy of the United States that the country reserves the right to launch a preemptive nuclear strike.

Former President Obama reportedly weighed changing the policy before leaving office, but ultimately did not after advisers argued doing so could embolden adversaries.

Backers of a no first use policy argue it would improve U.S. national security by reducing the risk of miscalculation while still allowing the United States to launch a nuclear strike in response to an attack.

During the debate, Warren argued such a policy would "make the world safer."

"The United States is not going to use nuclear weapons preemptively, and we need to say so to the entire world," she said. "It reduces the likelihood that someone miscalculates, someone misunderstands."

Bullock argued he wouldn't want to take the option off the table, but that there should be negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons.

"Never, I hope, certainly in my term or anyone else would we really even get close to pulling that trigger," he said. "Going from a position of strength, we should be negotiating down so there aren't nuclear weapons. But drawing those lines in the sand at this point, I wouldn't do."

Warren shot back that the world is closer to nuclear warfare after Trump's presidency, which is seeing the end of a landmark arms control agreement with Russia, the development of a low-yield submarine-launched warhead and the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement.

"We don't expand trust around the world by saying, 'you know, we might be the first one to use a nuclear weapon,'" she said. "We have to have an announced policy that is one the entire world can live with."

Bullock said he agreed on the need to return to nonproliferation standards but that unpredictable enemies such as North Korea require keeping first use as an option.

"When so many crazy folks are getting closer to having a nuclear weapon, I don't want them to think, 'I could strike this country,'" he said. "Part of the strength really is to deter."

----

Long-standing US policy has been to lump chemical,
biological and nuclear weapons in a single
category. So, our guv'mint implicitly reserves the
right to respond to a chemical attack (say) with
nuclear weapons. This was how the US got het up
about Iraq's supposed 'weapons of mass destruction',
which is how the US lumps them together under
the heading 'CBN' weapons. Iraq certainly
had chemical weapons, possibly biological ones,
and much less plausibly a nuclear weapons program.
It was all about those mysterious 'aluminum tubes',
which supposedly could be used for uranium-enriching centrifuges. (Not these tubes, apparently.)

But I digress. Suffice it to say, the US has
quite a few self-serving policies.

Now, the real question is, how much longer
do we want to have Mr Trump in control
of the nuclear football, as the nuke-
authorizing gadget is known?


[Aug 01, 2019] Elizabeth Warren could hit the mark as the candidate best placed to beat Trump.

Aug 01, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Katherine1984 , 31 Jul 2019 13:44

Like it or not, beating Donald Trump is no easy task.

A candidate too far to the left and they just won't get sufficient support from an electorate which inclines to the right (by UK standards).

Too establishment and "entitled" and some will hesitate to give them even a get-Trump-out vote.

Elizabeth Warren could hit the mark as the candidate best placed to beat Trump.

But she will have to brace herself for him to play a very nasty campaign against her.

MohammedS , 31 Jul 2019 13:24
Who gives a monkeys? The real issue is that the selfish, disorientated and cowardly way the Dems are conducting this race is handing Trump a winning platform for 2020.
After long hard thinking I have come to the sad conclusion that Trump is right and that he is indeed a genius. He has achieved what he had set out to do. He has polarised the standard bearer for democracy in the world. He has enriched himself and his family. He has broken American society, possibly irreversibly. He has brought about change in the worlds economies. He has also managed to set the debate and the stage to win in 2020. Now some may say he has been an awful president, but looking at his strategy he has been highly successful. He may not be what we want but he has certainly been better at feeling the pulse of America and deciding which medicine to give. A truly evil genius indeed.
TheMediaSux , 31 Jul 2019 13:15
Sanders and Warren are the only two with some kind of personality. The others look like they were created by lobbyists and corporate donors in a lab on a computer like Kelly Lebrock from Weird Science.
TremoluxMan , 31 Jul 2019 13:08
The point about taxes going up is a red herring and a straw man argument. If you get insurance through your employer, you pay anywhere from $300/month to $1200/month for yourself and family. Through a Medicare for all plan, that payment would disappear. Yes, you'd pay more in taxes to cover your health insurance, but it would likely be lower than private insurance, a net gain, with better coverage, no deductible or co-pays. Even if it was the same, it's still a wash. You're eliminating an expense for a tax. Plus, you're not paying for some executive's perks and exorbitant salary.

Personally, I'd feel better paying $50,000-$75,000/year to a government administrator than $10M-$20M/year + perks to a CEO.

ColoradoJack -> Andy Womack , 31 Jul 2019 12:10
Obama was simply being honest there. By any standard, Obama, both Clinton's, Gore (except for climate change) and Biden are at best moderate Republicans. Each would qualify as being to the right of Richard Nixon (leaving aside the issue of integrity).
In the case of Bill Clinton, Americans had not got woken to the fact that, while a little less by Democrats, the middle class was nontheless being screwed by both parties. Obama's rhetoric was enough cover to fool the public into thinking he would fight for real change. Both Gore and especially Hillary showed what the public now thinks of "moderates". Bernie Sanders and/or Elizabeth Warren are the only chances to beat Trump in 2020.
Eisenhower , 31 Jul 2019 11:13
Reparations for slavery, the elimination of private insurance, free health care for anyone who overstays a visa or walks over from Mexico, and a crystal lady.

We are in trouble. My nightmare of a Trump re-election is more and more likely.

MoonlightTiger -> BaronVonAmericano , 31 Jul 2019 11:13
I believe it is. Ha
BaronVonAmericano -> thepianist , 31 Jul 2019 11:11
The general election poses an obvious vote against Trump.

Virtually 100% of the decision-making you have about what future we might want is in the primary.

Staying out of the primary debates is tantamount to abandoning all political power.

BaronVonAmericano , 31 Jul 2019 11:05
Warren and Sanders clearly demonstrated that a party wanting to win should nominate one of them.

They enthralled the audience, and showed they possess a vision for the future that every other Democratic candidate claims to eventually want, when there's time, maybe, perhaps if they get a majority someday.

Cmank1 , 31 Jul 2019 10:54
Clearly Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were the clear winners of the night! They shamed the listless other candidates, none of whom exhibited a similar energy, excitement & vision for the future of the country. Despite a definite veneer of displeasure by your account, both the audience at the event, and those watching at home felt the excitement of progressive proposals won the day.
KMdude , 31 Jul 2019 10:46
The winner of the debate was Trump.

When Sanders declared he's in favor of free healthcare and free education for illegal immigrants there was -at best - muted criticism from the other candidates.

Most Americans are likely outraged by this suggestion and this will play in Trump's favor.

DontFanMeBro , 31 Jul 2019 10:39
It's obvious that John Delaney is simply a plant by Big Business (which has both the centrist Democrats and all of Republicans in its pocket) to troll and derail the candidacy of progressives Sanders and Warren. His sole function is to throw a monkey wrench in their path and be a "nattering nabob of negativism" (to quote Agnew) regarding their policies. That's all he does all day and all night, and the centrist-loving moderators and journalists love giving him infinite time to do his damage
Haigin88 , 31 Jul 2019 04:42
The answer is obvious: if you want your best shot at 86-ing the orange pestilence, then it has to be Warren/Sanders or Sanders/Warren. You're not supposed to signal your vice-president until after you've got the nomination, I know, but surely having Trump as president has shredded all previous norms? Go now, right now, and say that it'll be you two. You can even keep it open and say that you don't know who'll head the ticket but it will be Warren and Sanders. That would crush all opposition and keep churning interesting as a guessing game.

Maybe Warren should head the ticket. I know that Sanders is very sharp and he plays basketball but if he was president then he'd be asking for a second term and to get sworn in when he's 83 and being in one's eighties might be too much of a psychological barrier. My suggestion, though, would be it's Sanders/Warren but on the promise that Sanders will step aside during his first term, after two years and one day (meaning that Warren could serve out the rest of the term and still then run for two more terms under her own steam).

That would guarantee the first female president and so quieten down the phoney-baloney identity politics drones; better, it would mean that the US would get an excellent leader in Elizabeth Warren, no matter her bodily organs; it would pull together the Crooked H. adherents and get them on side, if they truly care about getting female in there and if it doesn't it will expose them as the phonies they are. And it would keep matters on policy, when Trump is weak, rather than personalities, which is the territory on which Trump wants to fight.

[Jul 31, 2019] Lambert Strether

Jul 31, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

July 30, 2019 at 9:59 pm

Sanders: "Elizabeth is exactly right." On trade.

Adding, Warren keeps saying "suck profits out." Vivid!

Reply

DonCoyote , July 30, 2019 at 10:03 pm

"You're gonna hear a giant sucking sound ". Yup, Ross, we heard it

Lambert Strether Post author , July 30, 2019 at 10:05 pm

Guardian editorializing in the photo at the top of their live blog . Accurately, I would say.

Of course, it's "just business." Not that there's anything wrong with that!

Lambert Strether Post author , July 30, 2019 at 10:45 pm

Warren: "We beat it by being the party of big structural change." The issue is whether "regulation" is big enough and structural enough.

Sanders: "To stand with the working class* of American that for the last 45 years has been decimated." Then the Canada bus trip. "We need a mass political movement. Take on the greed and the corruption of the ruling class of this country." Plugs website.

Sanders was better; working the bus trip in was good.

NOTE * Guardian paraphrase : "Bernie Sanders pledged to stand by the US middle class , recounting his recent trip to Canada to emphasize the high price of insulin in America." Lol.

WheresOurTeddy , July 31, 2019 at 4:24 am

The allergy to the phrase "working class" is not accidental. They want as many Americans as possible thinking they're just temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

As someone who has spent most of my life in the working class, made it to the middle, got knocked down again, and made my way back up to the middle again, there is most certainly a difference.

Jessica , July 31, 2019 at 4:49 am

When was the last time (if ever) that someone said the words "ruling class" in a presidential debate? (I assume that Eugene Debs was never invited to any presidential debate.)
Even that Bernie said "working class" won points with me. Typical of the Guardian to change it to "middle class".
Williamson was impressive.
I liked that Warren showed fire and guts. Her policies would be a real change for the better, especially if pushed farther. My real question about her is whether she would stand up to the other side and fight to win.
For me, the biggest difference between Bernie and Warren is that I am starting to hope that Warren would really fight, but I know Bernie would.

Spring Texan , July 31, 2019 at 10:37 am

I like Bernie better, but I like Warren too, and I *DO* trust her to fight.

The big tell was when she went to Washington as a Senator and Larry Summers said don't criticize us in public if you want to be part of the club, and she not only ignored that but told on him publicly!

Two actually GOOD people! They were my dream team last night.

nippersmom , July 30, 2019 at 10:46 pm

Warren paraphrased Sanders stump speech.

Lambert Strether Post author , July 30, 2019 at 10:50 pm

In academic terms, yes.

Watching Warren's reactions was really interesting. I think the sheer stupidity of centrist arguments really ticks her off, which speaks well of her.

scarn , July 30, 2019 at 11:07 pm

I agree. I'm highly skeptical of Warren delivering anything (especially a victory), and I don't really trust her to try very hard to implement her plans. Watching her in this debate opened a thin crack in my icy wall of distrust. I hope she proves me wrong.

skippy , July 31, 2019 at 4:28 am

Eh . Warren for all her sociopolitical baggage is a completely different animal to the Blue Dog Corporatist DNC fundie or the Free Market Conservative slash Goat picked me to administrate reality for everyone dilemma.

But yeah feel [tm] free [tm] to play curricular firing squad and then wonder why ones head is sore from the effects of banging on an sacrilegious edifice .

Lambert Strether Post author , July 30, 2019 at 10:47 pm

And now the spin doctors!

I think a photo finish by Sanders and Warren, Buttigieg in the running followed by Klobuchar, Beto fading, the centrists losing big, Williamson a dark horse coming up on the outside.

[Jul 31, 2019] Democratic Debate Warren and Sanders Stand Pat, but Look Out for Marianne by
Jim Geraghty

By one key metric -- Google interest -- Marianne Willamson was the dominant figure of the debate. and that's tells a lot about debate aorgnizers which are not interested in real political debase. Just interested in the debate as a political show. They are too interested in promoted identity politics to devide the electorate, to allow discussion of really important for the nation question such as rampant militarism.
Notable quotes:
"... A lot of liberals will love her for her quip, "I don't understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running to the president of the United States to talk about what we really can't do and shouldn't fight for." ..."
"... Of course, she's celebrating one of the big problems in our political system -- no presidential candidate wants to acknowledge the limits of the power of the office, the presence of the opposition party, judicial review, the inherent difficulties of enacting sweeping changes through legislation, or the limit of government policy to solve problems in society. ..."
"... One of the reasons Americans are so cynical is that they've seen plenty of politicians come and go, with almost every one of them promising the moon and very few living up to the hype. ..."
Jul 31, 2019 | www.nationalreview.com

A lot of liberals will love her for her quip, "I don't understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running to the president of the United States to talk about what we really can't do and shouldn't fight for."

Of course, she's celebrating one of the big problems in our political system -- no presidential candidate wants to acknowledge the limits of the power of the office, the presence of the opposition party, judicial review, the inherent difficulties of enacting sweeping changes through legislation, or the limit of government policy to solve problems in society.

One of the reasons Americans are so cynical is that they've seen plenty of politicians come and go, with almost every one of them promising the moon and very few living up to the hype.

Advertisement

Warren shamelessly insisted that the government could pay for quality health care for every American -- and illegal immigrants, too! -- just by raising taxes on billionaires and big corporations. Warren made clear tonight that she's not going to let a little thing like fiscal reality get in between her and the nomination.

... ... ...

Tonight was another night where you could easily forget Amy Klobuchar was on stage. Back when Klobuchar's campaign was in the nascent stage, people wondered how "Minnesota nice" would play on a national debate stage. We can now declare it boring, predictable, and forgettable.

[Jul 30, 2019] I believe Warren has authenticity as far as being anti-Wall Street

Notable quotes:
"... I like Elizabeth Warren, I would vote for her, . Not fond of some of her foreign policy positions, and I don't like how worked up Trump gets her. Forget about Trump, lets here what you plan on doing with the presidency E. Warren! ..."
"... Biden and Harris are both IMO DNC monsters like Clinton who will get us into nuclear war due to a combination of excessive hubris and flat out neocon/neolib stupidity. ..."
"... Warren's okay but it's hard to get past her support for Hillary in 2016 and not for Sanders whose policies reflect hers. So for me, Sanders is still the best, Warren 2nd. However, Trump will destroy him with Socialist scaremongering. ..."
"... Biden is older and will not want war (with any country) complicating his Presidency, and may choose a VP ready to succeed him if he decides not to run for a second term. He will return to the JCPOA. I don't like Biden's ingratiation with Zionists, but the reality is that Biden and Trump will be the choices, so hold your nose, because it's Biden or war and further regime change ambitions with Trump and maybe even a manipulated Trump 3rd term using war as the excuse to prolong his mandate! ..."
"... Biden has no conception of giving up office. As to war he will be as ready to start wars as he was when he and Obama and Hillary were all part of the same administration. ..."
Jul 30, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jason , Jul 30 2019 1:20 utc | 51

I like Elizabeth Warren, I would vote for her, . Not fond of some of her foreign policy positions, and I don't like how worked up Trump gets her. Forget about Trump, lets here what you plan on doing with the presidency E. Warren!

In the primaries I will support Gabbard, I believe she is as real of an anti-war candidate as there is, not perfect, but it is all relative.

Sanders would get my vote, too, although I do fear he is a bit of a "sheep-dog" but I'd give him a shot.

If not one of those candidates, oddly, I'll vote for Trump. Biden and Harris are both IMO DNC monsters like Clinton who will get us into nuclear war due to a combination of excessive hubris and flat out neocon/neolib stupidity.

I see a repeat of the 2016 election on the horizon, with the DNC doubling down on idiocy and losing in a similar fashion. They haven't learnt a thing from 2016 and think hyperventilating while screaming Trump, Trump, Trump is going to win the election.

Circe , Jul 30 2019 13:37 utc | 85

Warren's okay but it's hard to get past her support for Hillary in 2016 and not for Sanders whose policies reflect hers. So for me, Sanders is still the best, Warren 2nd. However, Trump will destroy him with Socialist scaremongering.

My bet is that the nominee will be Biden, because Biden can beat Trump in the election and Democrats, at the last minute, will vote out of fear of running someone who might lose to Trump.

My feeling is that there will be war in Trump's second term. Trump will be much bolder and more fascist after getting another mandate and having nothing to lose. Trump will be a war President having invested more than any other President on military hardware and itching to show it off. He hasn't fired his hawks for a reason. He will be more full of himself and his own importance in history. His Zionist financiers will get their money's worth in spades. His agenda will be more hostile on Iran and China and he'll finish what he started in Venezuela. He will lose the detente with NK, and after the election, he will no longer give friendly lip service to Russia especially on Syria and Venezuela and will expect Russia to go along with what he has planned for Iran.

Biden is older and will not want war (with any country) complicating his Presidency, and may choose a VP ready to succeed him if he decides not to run for a second term. He will return to the JCPOA. I don't like Biden's ingratiation with Zionists, but the reality is that Biden and Trump will be the choices, so hold your nose, because it's Biden or war and further regime change ambitions with Trump and maybe even a manipulated Trump 3rd term using war as the excuse to prolong his mandate!

nottheonly1 , Jul 30 2019 13:44 utc | 86

I wonder when people will start to call the executive of the US what it has been for some time now:

The Fascist US Regime

Does anybody believe this is going to end well?

bevin , Jul 30 2019 15:29 utc | 93
"My bet is that the nominee will be Biden, because Biden can beat Trump in the election and Democrats, at the last minute, will vote out of fear of running someone who might lose to Trump....."

Biden is Hillary without the feminist support. No way that he could beat Trump.

"Biden is older and will not want war (with any country) complicating his Presidency, and may choose a VP ready to succeed him if he decides not to run for a second term. .."

Biden has no conception of giving up office. As to war he will be as ready to start wars as he was when he and Obama and Hillary were all part of the same administration.

There is only one Democrat, among the announced candidates, who can beat Trump and his name is Sanders.

[Jul 30, 2019] The -Existential Battle- Is for Control of the Democratic Party

The purpose of the "Clintonized" Democratic Party is to diffuse public dissent to neoliberal rule in an orderly fashion. The militarization of US economy and society means that by joining the war coalition, the Democratic party doesn't have to win any presidential elections to remain in power. Because military-industrial complex rules the country.
Yes Clinton neoliberals want to stay in control and derail Sanders, much like they did in 2016. Biden and Harris are Clinton faction Trojan horses to accomplish that. But times changed and they might have to agree on Warren inread of Biden of Harris.
Notable quotes:
"... Trump fought the swamp, and the swamp won. Trump campaigned on ending our stupid pointless wars and spending that money on ourselves – and it looked at first like he might actually deliver (how RACIST of the man!) but not to worry, he is now surrounded by uber hawks and the defense industry dollars are continuing to flow. Which the Democrats are fine with. ..."
"... Trump campaigned on a populist platform, but once elected the only thing he really pushed for was a big juicy tax cut for himself and his billionaire buddies – which the Democrats are fine with (how come they can easily block attempts to stop the flow of cheap labor across the southern border, but not block massive giveaway tax cuts to the super rich? Because they have their priorities). ..."
"... So yeah, Trump is governing a lot like Hilary Clinton would have. ..."
"... I think it's much more likely that a Sanders victory would see the Clintonistas digging even further into the underbelly of the Democratic Party. There they would covertly and overtly sabotage Sanders, brief against him in the press and weaken, corrupt and hamstring any legislation that he proposes ..."
"... electing Sanders can not be the endgame, only the beginning. I think Nax is completely right that a Sanders win would bring on the full wrath of all its opponents. Then the real battle would begin. ..."
"... The notion that real change could happen in this country by winning an election or two is naive in the extreme. But that doesn't make it impossible. ..."
"... Lots of people hired by the Clintons, Obama, Rahm Emanuel, Cuomo, etc. will have to be defenestrated. Lose their public sector jobs, if not outright charged with crimes. No one must be left in a position to hurt you after the election. Anyone on the "other side" must lose all power or ability to damage you, except those too weak. These people can be turned and used by you; they can be kept in line with fear. But all the leaders must go. ..."
"... In order for Sanders to survive the onslaught that will surely come, he must have a jobs program ready to go on day one of his administration- and competent people committed to his cause ready to cary out the plan. ..."
"... Besides preventing social movements from undertaking independent political activity to their left, the Democrats have been adept at killing social movements altogether. They have done – and continue to do – this in four key ways: ..."
"... i) inducing "progressive" movement activists (e.g. Medea Benjamin of Code Pink and the leaders of Moveon.org and United for Peace and Justice today) to focus scarce resources on electing and defending capitalist politicians who are certain to betray peaceful- and populist-sounding campaign promises upon the attainment of power; ..."
"... (ii) pressuring activists to "rein in their movements, thereby undercutting the potential for struggle from below;" ..."
"... (iii) using material and social (status) incentives to buy off social movement leaders; ..."
"... iv) feeding a pervasive sense of futility regarding activity against the dominant social and political order, with its business party duopoly. ..."
"... It is not broken. It is fixed. Against us. ..."
"... Obama spent tens of trillions of dollars saving Wall Street – at the expense of Main Street – so that nothing got resolved about the problems that caused the crash in the first place. Trump's policies are doubling down on these problems so there is going to be a major disruption coming down the track. A major recession perhaps or maybe even worse. ..."
"... The militarization of US economy and society underscores your scenario. By being part of the war coalition, the Democratic party, as now constituted, doesn't have to win any presidential elections. The purpose of the Democratic party is to diffuse public dissent in an orderly fashion. This allows the war machine to grind on and the politicians are paid handsomely for their efforts. ..."
"... By joining the war coalition, the Democrats only have leverage over Republicans if the majority of citizens get "uppity" and start demanding social concessions. Democrats put down the revolt by subterfuge, which is less costly and allows the fiction of American Democracy and freedom to persist for a while longer. Republicans, while preferring more overt methods of repressing the working class, allow the fiction to continue because their support for authoritarian principles can stay hidden in the background. ..."
"... When this political theatre in the US finally reaches its end date, what lies behind the curtain will surely shock most of the population and I have little faith that the citizenry are prepared to deal with the consequences. A society of feckless consumers is little prepared to deal with hard core imperialists who's time has reached its end. ..."
"... This wrath of frustrated Imperialists will be turned upon the citizenry ..."
"... By owning the means of production, the Oligarchs will be able to produce the machinery of oppression without the resort to 'money.' In revolutionary times, the most valuable commodity would be flying lead. ..."
"... Could that be why "our" three-letter agencies have been stocking up on that substance for awhile, now? ..."
"... " The purpose of the Democratic Party is to diffuse public dissent in an orderly fashion." ..."
"... Yes, this election is starting to remind me of 2004. High-up Dems, believing they're playing the long game, sacrifice the election to maintain standing with big biz donors. ..."
"... Sadly, when Sanders speaks of a "revolution", and when he is referred to as a revolutionary, while at the same time accepting that the Democratic Party is a Party of the top 10%, puts into context just how low the bar is for a political revolution in America. ..."
"... actual democracy is an impediment to those who wield power in today's America, and in that respect the class war continues to be waged, primarily through divisive social issues to divert our attention from the looting being done by and for the rich and the decline in opportunity and economic security for everyone else. ..."
"... the Democratic Party consultant class, I call them leeches, is fighting for its power at the expense of the party and the country. ..."
"... The DLC-type New Democrats (corporatists) have been working to destroy New Deal Democrats and policies as a force in the party. The New Deal Democrats brought in bank regulations, social security, medicare, the voting rights act, restraint on financial predation, and various economic protections for the little-guy and for Main Street businesses. ..."
"... The DLC Dems have brought deregulation of the banks and financial sector, an attempt to cut social security, expansion of prisons, tax cuts for corporations and the billionaires, the return of monopoly power, and the economic squeeze on Main Street businesses forced to compete with monopolies. ..."
Jul 30, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

... ... ...

That 2020 existential battle, of course, is always cast as between the Democrats and the Republicans.

But there's another existential battle going on, one that will occur before the main event -- the battle for control of the Democratic Party. In the long run, that battle may turn out to be more important than the one that immediately follows it.

... ... ...

Before mainstream Democrats can begin the "existential battle" with the forces of Trump and Republicanism, they have to win the existential battle against the force that wants to force change on their own party.

They're engaged in that battle today, and it seems almost all of the "liberal media," sensing the existential nature of the threat, is helping them win it. Katie Halper, in a second perceptive piece on the media's obvious anti-Sanders bias, " MSNBC's Anti-Sanders Bias Is Getting Truly Ridiculous ," writes: "When MSNBC legal analyst Mimi Rocah ( 7/21/19 ) said that Bernie Sanders 'made [her] skin crawl,' though she 'can't even identify for you what exactly it is,' she was just expressing more overtly the anti-Sanders bias that pervades the network."

... ... ...

MSNBC is clearly acting as a messaging arm of the Democratic Party mainstream in its battle with progressives in general and Sanders in particular, and Zerlina Maxwell, who's been variously employed by that mainstream, from her work with Clinton to her work on MSNBC, is an agent in that effort.

Let me repeat what Matt Taibbi wrote: " [Sanders'] election would mean a complete overhaul of the Democratic Party, forcing everyone who ever worked for a Clinton to look toward the private sector. "

... ... ...


TG , July 30, 2019 at 1:45 pm

Agreed. Trump fought the swamp, and the swamp won. Trump campaigned on ending our stupid pointless wars and spending that money on ourselves – and it looked at first like he might actually deliver (how RACIST of the man!) but not to worry, he is now surrounded by uber hawks and the defense industry dollars are continuing to flow. Which the Democrats are fine with.

Trump campaigned on enforcing the laws against illegal immigration and limiting legal immigration, but he's now pretty much given up, the southern border is open full "Camp of the Saints" style and he's pushing for more legal 'guest' workers to satisfy the corporate demands for cheap labor – and the Democrats are for this (though Sanders started to object back in 2015 before he was beaten down).

Trump campaigned on a populist platform, but once elected the only thing he really pushed for was a big juicy tax cut for himself and his billionaire buddies – which the Democrats are fine with (how come they can easily block attempts to stop the flow of cheap labor across the southern border, but not block massive giveaway tax cuts to the super rich? Because they have their priorities).

Soon I expect that Trump will propose massive regressive tax increases on the working class – which of course the Democrats will be fine with ('to save the planet').

So yeah, Trump is governing a lot like Hilary Clinton would have.

And elections are pretty much pointless. Even if Sanders does win, he'll get beaten down faster even than Trump was.

Redlife2017 , July 30, 2019 at 4:52 am

I think people have a hard time with real inflection points. Most of life uses more short-term linear decision making. But at inflection points we have multiple possibilities that turn into rather surprising turns of events, such as Brexit and Trump. We still have people saying in the UK – "but they wouldn't do that!" The hell "they" won't. Norms are thrown out of the window and people start realising how wide the options are. This is not positive or negative. Just change or transformation.

That is my philosophical way of agreeing with you! It is easy to point at the hostility of the mainstream media and DNC as there being no way for Sanders to win. After all in 2004, look what the media and DNC did to Howard Dean. But people weren't dying then like they are now. The "Great Recession" wasn't on anyone's radar. People felt rich, like everything would be fine. We are not in that situation – the facts on the ground are so wildly different that the DNC and mainstream media will find it hard to stay in control.

Nax , July 30, 2019 at 2:42 am

I think it's much more likely that a Sanders victory would see the Clintonistas digging even further into the underbelly of the Democratic Party. There they would covertly and overtly sabotage Sanders, brief against him in the press and weaken, corrupt and hamstring any legislation that he proposes.

If Sanders should win against Trump expect the establishment to go into full revolt. Capital strike, mass layoffs, federal reserve hiking interest rates to induce a recession, a rotating cast of Democrats siding with Republicans to block legislation, press comparing him to worse than Carter before he even takes office and vilifying him all day every day.

I wouldn't be shocked to see Israel and the Saudis generate a crisis in, for example, Iran so Sanders either bends the knee to the neocons or gets to be portrayed as a cowardly failure for abandoning our 'allies' for the rest of his term.

Tyronius , July 30, 2019 at 4:59 am

You've just convinced me that the American Experiment is doomed. No one else but Sanders can pull America out of its long slow death spiral and your litany of the tactics of subversion of his presidency is persuasive that even in the event of his electoral victory, there will be no changing of the national direction.

JCC , July 30, 2019 at 9:05 am

I'm reading a series of essays by Morris Berman in his book "Are We There Yet". A lot of critics complain that he is too much the pessimist, but he presents some good arguments, dark though they may be, that the American Experiment was doomed from the start due to the inherent flaw of Every Man For Himself and its "get mine and the hell with everybody else" attitude that has been a part of the experiment from the beginning.

He is absolutely right about one thing, we are a country strongly based on hustling for money as much or more than anything else, and both Trump and the Clintons are classic examples of this, and why the country often gets the leaders it deserves.

That's why I believe that we need people like Sanders and Gabbard in the Oval Office. It is also why I believe that should either end up even getting close, Nax is correct. Those with power in this country will not accept the results and will do whatever is necessary to subvert them, and the Voter will buy that subversion hook, line, and sinker.

Left in Wisconsin , July 30, 2019 at 11:32 am

No. The point is that electing Sanders can not be the endgame, only the beginning. I think Nax is completely right that a Sanders win would bring on the full wrath of all its opponents. Then the real battle would begin.

The notion that real change could happen in this country by winning an election or two is naive in the extreme. But that doesn't make it impossible.

Big River Bandido , July 30, 2019 at 7:16 am

Lots of people hired by the Clintons, Obama, Rahm Emanuel, Cuomo, etc. will have to be defenestrated. Lose their public sector jobs, if not outright charged with crimes. No one must be left in a position to hurt you after the election. Anyone on the "other side" must lose all power or ability to damage you, except those too weak. These people can be turned and used by you; they can be kept in line with fear. But all the leaders must go.

Norb , July 30, 2019 at 6:09 am

In order for Sanders to survive the onslaught that will surely come, he must have a jobs program ready to go on day one of his administration- and competent people committed to his cause ready to cary out the plan.

The high ground is being able to express a new vision for the common good, 24/7, and do something to bring it about. You win even if you suffer losses.

Without that, life in the USA will become very disruptive to say the least.

g3 , July 30, 2019 at 4:08 am

Mainstream Dems are performing their role very well. Most likely I am preaching to the choir. But anyways, here is a review of Lance Selfa's book "Democrats: a critical history" by Paul Street :

https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/hope-killers-by-paul-street/

Besides preventing social movements from undertaking independent political activity to their left, the Democrats have been adept at killing social movements altogether. They have done – and continue to do – this in four key ways:

i) inducing "progressive" movement activists (e.g. Medea Benjamin of Code Pink and the leaders of Moveon.org and United for Peace and Justice today) to focus scarce resources on electing and defending capitalist politicians who are certain to betray peaceful- and populist-sounding campaign promises upon the attainment of power;

(ii) pressuring activists to "rein in their movements, thereby undercutting the potential for struggle from below;"

(iii) using material and social (status) incentives to buy off social movement leaders;

iv) feeding a pervasive sense of futility regarding activity against the dominant social and political order, with its business party duopoly.

It is not broken. It is fixed. Against us.

The Rev Kev , July 30, 2019 at 4:43 am

Pretty bad optics on MSNBC's part being unable to do simple numbers and I can fully believe that their motto starts with the words "This is who we are". Jimmy Dore has put out a few videos on how bad MSNBC has been towards Bernie and Progressives lately so it is becoming pretty blatant. Just spitballing a loose theory here but perhaps the Democrats have decided on a "poisoned chalice" strategy and do want not to win in 2020.

After 2008 the whole economy should have had a major re-set but Obama spent tens of trillions of dollars saving Wall Street – at the expense of Main Street – so that nothing got resolved about the problems that caused the crash in the first place. Trump's policies are doubling down on these problems so there is going to be a major disruption coming down the track. A major recession perhaps or maybe even worse.

Point is that perhaps the Democrats have calculated that it would be best for them to leave the Republicans in power to own this crash which will help them long term. And this explains why most of those democrat candidates look like they have fallen out of a clown car. The ones capable of going head to head with Trump are sidelined while their weakest candidates are pushed forward – people like Biden and Harris. Just a theory mind.

Norb , July 30, 2019 at 7:18 am

The militarization of US economy and society underscores your scenario. By being part of the war coalition, the Democratic party, as now constituted, doesn't have to win any presidential elections. The purpose of the Democratic party is to diffuse public dissent in an orderly fashion. This allows the war machine to grind on and the politicians are paid handsomely for their efforts.

By joining the war coalition, the Democrats only have leverage over Republicans if the majority of citizens get "uppity" and start demanding social concessions. Democrats put down the revolt by subterfuge, which is less costly and allows the fiction of American Democracy and freedom to persist for a while longer. Republicans, while preferring more overt methods of repressing the working class, allow the fiction to continue because their support for authoritarian principles can stay hidden in the background.

I have little faith in my fellow citizens as the majority are too brainwashed to see the danger of this political theatre. Most ignore politics, while those that do show an interest exercise that effort mainly by supporting whatever faction they belong. Larger issues and connections between current events remain a mystery to them as a result.

Military defeat seems the only means to break this cycle. Democrats, being the fake peaceniks that they are, will be more than happy to defer to their more authoritarian Republican counterparts when dealing with issues concerning war and peace. Look no further than Tulsi Gabbard's treatment in the party. The question is really should the country continue down this Imperialist path.

In one sense, economic recession will be the least of our problems in the future. When this political theatre in the US finally reaches its end date, what lies behind the curtain will surely shock most of the population and I have little faith that the citizenry are prepared to deal with the consequences. A society of feckless consumers is little prepared to deal with hard core imperialists who's time has reached its end.

This wrath of frustrated Imperialists will be turned upon the citizenry.

notabanker , July 30, 2019 at 9:17 am

This wrath of frustrated Imperialists will be turned upon the citizenry.

When their fiat money is worthless, we'll see how effective that "wrath" really is.

ambrit , July 30, 2019 at 12:55 pm

By owning the means of production, the Oligarchs will be able to produce the machinery of oppression without the resort to 'money.'
In revolutionary times, the most valuable commodity would be flying lead.

Carey , July 30, 2019 at 3:49 pm

Could that be why "our" three-letter agencies have been stocking up on that substance for awhile, now?

Phil in KC , July 30, 2019 at 1:09 pm

" The purpose of the Democratic Party is to diffuse public dissent in an orderly fashion."

Wow! I'm going to be keeping that little nugget in mind as I watch the debates. Well-stated, Norb.

DJG , July 30, 2019 at 8:43 am

If the nation wishes true deliverance, not just from Trump and Republicans, but from the painful state that got Trump elected in the first place, it will first have to believe in a savior.

No, no, no, no, no. No oooshy religion, which is part of what got us into this mess. Cities on a hill. The Exceptional Nation(tm). Obligatory burbling of Amazing Grace. Assumptions that everyone is a Methodist. And after Deliverance, the U S of A will be magically re-virginated (for the umpteenth time), pure and worthy of Manifest Destiny once again.

If you want to be saved, stick to your own church. Stop dragging it into the public sphere. This absurd and sloppy religious language is part of the problem. At the very least it is kitsch. At its worst it leads us to bomb Muslim nations and engage in "Crusades."

Other than that, the article makes some important points. In a year or so, there will be a lot of comments here on whether or not to vote for the pre-failed Democratic candidate, once the Party dumps Bernie Sanders. There is no requirement of voting for the Democrats, unless you truly do believe that they will bring the Deliverance (and untarnish your tarnished virtue). Vote your conscience. Not who Nate Silver indicates.

mle in detroit , July 30, 2019 at 10:30 am

+100

ptb , July 30, 2019 at 9:21 am

Yes, this election is starting to remind me of 2004. High-up Dems, believing they're playing the long game, sacrifice the election to maintain standing with big biz donors. The leading issue of the day (Iraq/GWOT/Patriot Act) was erased from mainstream US politics and has been since. Don't for a minute think they won't do a similar thing now. Big donors don't particularly fear Trump, nor a 6-3 conservative supreme court, nor a Bolton state dept, nor a racist DHS/ICE – those are not money issues for them.

KYrocky , July 30, 2019 at 9:32 am

Sadly, when Sanders speaks of a "revolution", and when he is referred to as a revolutionary, while at the same time accepting that the Democratic Party is a Party of the top 10%, puts into context just how low the bar is for a political revolution in America.

The candidate who would fight and would govern for the 90% of Americans is a revolutionary.

The fact that it can be said as a given that neither major Party is being run specifically to serve the vast majority of our country is itself an admission for that the class war begun by Reagan has been won, in more of a silent coup, and the rich have control of our nation.

Sadly, actual democracy is an impediment to those who wield power in today's America, and in that respect the class war continues to be waged, primarily through divisive social issues to divert our attention from the looting being done by and for the rich and the decline in opportunity and economic security for everyone else.

Sanders is considered a revolutionary merely for stating the obvious, stating the truth. That is what makes him dangerous to those that run the Democratic Party, and more broadly those who run this nation.

Sanders would do better to cast himself not as a revolutionary, but as a person of the people, with the belief that good government does not favor the wants of the richest over the needs of our country. That is what makes him a threat. To the rich unseen who hold power, to the Republican Party, and to some Democrats.

freedomny , July 30, 2019 at 11:28 am

Good read:

https://eand.co/why-the-21st-century-needs-an-existential-revolution-c3068a10b689

dbk , July 30, 2019 at 11:45 am

Perhaps another indication of internal discord that's getting out of hand:
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/5-more-top-dccc-staffers-out-in-ongoing-diversity-saga

I agree with the thesis here, and confess to being puzzled by comments on LGM (for example) politics threads of the ilk "I'm with Warren but am good with Buttigieg too," or "I'm with Sanders but am good with Harris, too," etc.

Really?

Matthew G. Saroff , July 30, 2019 at 11:55 am

I love reading Taibbi, but in his article , that quote, " Sanders is the revolutionary. His election would mean a complete overhaul of the Democratic Party, forcing everyone who ever worked for a Clinton to look toward the private sector ," should be the lede, and its buried 2/3 of the way down.

This primary season is about how the Democratic Party consultant class, I call them leeches, is fighting for its power at the expense of the party and the country.

flora , July 30, 2019 at 1:07 pm

Yves writes: it is unfortunate that this struggle is being personified, as in too often treated by the media and political operatives as being about Sanders.

I agree. Sanders represents the continuing New Deal-type policies. The DLC-type New Democrats (corporatists) have been working to destroy New Deal Democrats and policies as a force in the party. The New Deal Democrats brought in bank regulations, social security, medicare, the voting rights act, restraint on financial predation, and various economic protections for the little-guy and for Main Street businesses.

The DLC Dems have brought deregulation of the banks and financial sector, an attempt to cut social security, expansion of prisons, tax cuts for corporations and the billionaires, the return of monopoly power, and the economic squeeze on Main Street businesses forced to compete with monopolies.

The MSM won't talk about any of the programmatic differences between the two sides. The MSM won't recognize the New Deal style Democratic voters even exist; the New Deal wing voters are quickly labeled 'deplorable' instead voters with competing economic policies to the current economic policies.

So, we're left with the MSM focusing on personalities to avoid talking about the real policy differences, imo.

sharonsj , July 30, 2019 at 2:53 pm

When Bernie talks about a revolution, he explains how it must be from the grassroots, from the bottom up. If he manages to get elected, his supporters have to make sure they get behind the politicians who also support him and, if they don't, get rid of them.

Without continuing mass protests, nothing is going to happen. Other countries have figured this out but Americans remain clueless.

[Jul 30, 2019] Warren targets corporate power with plan to overhaul trade policy TheHill

Jul 30, 2019 | thehill.com

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Elizabeth Ann Warren Poll: Beto O'Rourke leads 2020 Democrats in Texas by 3 points, followed by Biden Coalition to air anti-Medicare for All ads during Democratic debates Marianne Williamson: I am not a 'wacky new-age nutcase' MORE (D-Mass.) on Monday released a plan to use trade policy as a tool to create stronger safeguards for labor, the environment and regions of the country harmed by globalization.

Warren's plan would overhaul the process by which the U.S. proposes, writes, finalizes and enforces trade deals while imposing strict standards for any nation seeking or currently in a free trade deal with the U.S.

ADVERTISEMENT

In a Medium post outlining the extensive trade proposal, Warren said her approach to trade is centered on using the United States' immense leverage to protect domestic industries and workers.

Warren argued U.S trade policy has ceded too much power to international corporations, squandering the country's ability to defend its manufacturers, farmers and laborers.

"As President, I won't hand America's leverage to big corporations to use for their own narrow purposes," Warren wrote. "We will engage in international trade -- but on our terms and only when it benefits American families."

Warren's plan is among the most comprehensive proposals to replace President Trump Donald John Trump Professor installs seesaws across US-Mexico border to form connection 'on both sides' What the world can expect from the Boris Johnson government Marianne Williamson: I am not a 'wacky new-age nutcase' MORE 's tariff-based trade policy with a holistic protectionist agenda.

Trump has imposed more than $250 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, foreign steel and aluminum, solar panels, and washing machines since taking office in 2017. The president has used import taxes as leverage in trade talks and inducement for companies to produce goods in the U.S., but manufacturing job gains and activity have faded throughout the year.

U.S. farmers and ranchers have also lost billions of dollars in foreign sales due to retaliatory tariffs imposed on American agricultural goods.

Warren acknowledged that while tariffs "are an important tool, they are not by themselves a long-term solution to our failed trade agenda and must be part of a broader strategy that this Administration clearly lacks."

Warren said she instead would pursue deals and renegotiate current agreement to "force other countries to raise the bar on everything from labor and environmental standards to anti-corruption rules to access to medicine to tax enforcement."

To do so, Warren would expand the ability of Congress and noncorporate advocates to see and shape trade deals as their being negotiated, not after they have been submitted to lawmakers for approval

Warren proposed staffing trade advisory panels with a majority of representatives from labor and environmental and consumer advocacy groups. She also called for special advisory panels for consumers, rural areas and each region of the country, "so that critical voices are at the table during negotiations."

Under Warren's plan, trade negotiators would be required to submit drafts of pending agreements to Congress and submit them for public comment through the same process used by federal regulators to propose and finalize rules.

Warren's plan also raises the bar for entry into a trade deal with the U.S. and seizes more power for the federal government to enforce agreements.

Warren proposed a list of nine standards required of any country seeking a U.S. trade deal including several international tax, climate and human rights treaties. She noted that the U.S. "shamefully" does not comply with some of these standards, but would do so under her presidency.

The plan also excludes any nation on the Treasury Department's currency manipulation monitoring list from a potential U.S. trade deal. As of May, that list includes China, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.

Nations in trade deals with the U.S. would also be required to support subsidies for green energy, follow U.S. food inspection standards, pay a fee on goods produced using "carbon-intensive" processes and agree to stricter anti-trust standards.

[Jul 30, 2019] The main task of Democratic Party is preventing social movements from undertaking independent political activity to their left and killing such social movements

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Besides preventing social movements from undertaking independent political activity to their left, the Democrats have been adept at killing social movements altogether. They have done – and continue to do – this in four key ways: ..."
"... i) inducing "progressive" movement activists (e.g. Medea Benjamin of Code Pink and the leaders of Moveon.org and United for Peace and Justice today) to focus scarce resources on electing and defending capitalist politicians who are certain to betray peaceful- and populist-sounding campaign promises upon the attainment of power; ..."
"... (ii) pressuring activists to "rein in their movements, thereby undercutting the potential for struggle from below;" ..."
"... (iii) using material and social (status) incentives to buy off social movement leaders; ..."
"... iv) feeding a pervasive sense of futility regarding activity against the dominant social and political order, with its business party duopoly. ..."
"... It is not broken. It is fixed. Against us. ..."
"... The militarization of US economy and society underscores your scenario. By being part of the war coalition, the Democratic party, as now constituted, doesn't have to win any presidential elections. The purpose of the Democratic party is to diffuse public dissent in an orderly fashion. This allows the war machine to grind on and the politicians are paid handsomely for their efforts. ..."
"... By joining the war coalition, the Democrats only have leverage over Republicans if the majority of citizens get "uppity" and start demanding social concessions. Democrats put down the revolt by subterfuge, which is less costly and allows the fiction of American Democracy and freedom to persist for a while longer. Republicans, while preferring more overt methods of repressing the working class, allow the fiction to continue because their support for authoritarian principles can stay hidden in the background. ..."
"... When this political theatre in the US finally reaches its end date, what lies behind the curtain will surely shock most of the population and I have little faith that the citizenry are prepared to deal with the consequences. A society of feckless consumers is little prepared to deal with hard core imperialists who's time has reached its end. ..."
"... This wrath of frustrated Imperialists will be turned upon the citizenry ..."
Jul 30, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

g3 , July 30, 2019 at 4:08 am

Mainstream Dems are performing their role very well. Most likely I am preaching to the choir. But anyways, here is a review of Lance Selfa's book "Democrats: a critical history" by Paul Street :

https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/hope-killers-by-paul-street/

Besides preventing social movements from undertaking independent political activity to their left, the Democrats have been adept at killing social movements altogether. They have done – and continue to do – this in four key ways:

i) inducing "progressive" movement activists (e.g. Medea Benjamin of Code Pink and the leaders of Moveon.org and United for Peace and Justice today) to focus scarce resources on electing and defending capitalist politicians who are certain to betray peaceful- and populist-sounding campaign promises upon the attainment of power;

(ii) pressuring activists to "rein in their movements, thereby undercutting the potential for struggle from below;"

(iii) using material and social (status) incentives to buy off social movement leaders;

iv) feeding a pervasive sense of futility regarding activity against the dominant social and political order, with its business party duopoly.

It is not broken. It is fixed. Against us.

Norb , July 30, 2019 at 7:18 am

The militarization of US economy and society underscores your scenario. By being part of the war coalition, the Democratic party, as now constituted, doesn't have to win any presidential elections. The purpose of the Democratic party is to diffuse public dissent in an orderly fashion. This allows the war machine to grind on and the politicians are paid handsomely for their efforts.

By joining the war coalition, the Democrats only have leverage over Republicans if the majority of citizens get "uppity" and start demanding social concessions. Democrats put down the revolt by subterfuge, which is less costly and allows the fiction of American Democracy and freedom to persist for a while longer. Republicans, while preferring more overt methods of repressing the working class, allow the fiction to continue because their support for authoritarian principles can stay hidden in the background.

I have little faith in my fellow citizens as the majority are too brainwashed to see the danger of this political theatre. Most ignore politics, while those that do show an interest exercise that effort mainly by supporting whatever faction they belong. Larger issues and connections between current events remain a mystery to them as a result.

Military defeat seems the only means to break this cycle. Democrats, being the fake peaceniks that they are, will be more than happy to defer to their more authoritarian Republican counterparts when dealing with issues concerning war and peace. Look no further than Tulsi Gabbard's treatment in the party. The question is really should the country continue down this Imperialist path.

In one sense, economic recession will be the least of our problems in the future. When this political theatre in the US finally reaches its end date, what lies behind the curtain will surely shock most of the population and I have little faith that the citizenry are prepared to deal with the consequences. A society of feckless consumers is little prepared to deal with hard core imperialists who's time has reached its end.

This wrath of frustrated Imperialists will be turned upon the citizenry.

[Jul 29, 2019] Evidence has emerged that the US State Department is tied to a child trafficking operation involving billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Notable quotes:
"... Evidence has emerged that the U.S. State Department is tied to a child trafficking operation involving Billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. shared the tail number of his Bell Long Ranger 206L3 helicopter (tail number N474AW) with a U.S. State Department OV-10D Bronco ..."
"... . Descriptions of sex between adult males and underage females by XXX company employees in Bosnia in the 2000-2002 time frame coincides with descriptions of sex . on .. aircraft and [at] residences in Palm Beach, Florida; New Mexico; and on the island of Little Saint James in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Among the "Jane Does" filing suit against the U.S. government for concluding can anyone get the details of these suits? ..."
"... So so disgusting. First there was the catholic church pedophile scandal. Then there is the Epstein scandal ..."
Jul 23, 2019 | www.unz.com

sally , says: July 23, 2019 at 8:22 am GMT

https://friendsforsyria.com/2019/07/21/u-s-state-department-tied-to-child-trafficking-operation-with-epstein/

according to this article ..the following

Evidence has emerged that the U.S. State Department is tied to a child trafficking operation involving Billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. shared the tail number of his Bell Long Ranger 206L3 helicopter (tail number N474AW) with a U.S. State Department OV-10D Bronco. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) registration database. Descriptions of sex between adult males and underage females by XXX company employees in Bosnia in the 2000-2002 time frame coincides with descriptions of sex . on .. aircraft and [at] residences in Palm Beach, Florida; New Mexico; and on the island of Little Saint James in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Among the "Jane Does" filing suit against the U.S. government for concluding can anyone get the details of these suits?

mcohen , says: July 23, 2019 at 9:20 am GMT

So so disgusting. First there was the catholic church pedophile scandal. Then there is the Epstein scandal

... ... ...

Everything is broken.Time to call in the plumbers

[Jul 29, 2019] Looks like E>pstein turned informant for Mueller s FBI in 2008. Likely earlier

Highly recommended!
Did Mueller done this at the request of Clintons?
Notable quotes:
"... That was while Robert Mueller ran the Bureau, which means everything about Epstein's blackmail and kompromat operation has been tucked safely away out of sight in FBI files for at least a decade. Much longer, new evidence shows. ..."
"... *CIA Acknowledged in 2003, It Knew that Ghislaine Maxwell's Late Father was a Major Foreign Intelligence Agent Operating Inside the U.S. ..."
"... That Robert Maxwell was a ruthless, corrupt, tax-dodging international businessman who served as an Israeli agent is highly probable. ..."
"... For the first time, Maxwell had failed to get his own way. He started to threaten and bluster. He then demanded that, for past services, he should receive immediately a quick fix of £400million to bale him out of his financial difficulties. ..."
"... Instead of providing the money, a small group of Mossad officers set about planning his murder. They feared that he was going to publicly expose all Mossad had done in the time he worked for them. They knew that he was gradually becoming mentally unstable and paranoid. He was taking a cocktail of drugs - Halcion and Zanax - which had serious side effects. ..."
"... Then Maxwell was contacted. He was told to fly to Gibraltar, go aboard the Lady Ghislaine and sail to the Canary Islands. There at sea he would receive his £400million quick fix in the form of a banker's draft. Maxwell did as he was told. ..."
"... As Victor Ostrovsky, a former Mossad agent told us: "On that cold night Mossad's problems with Robert Maxwell were over." ..."
"... The incontrovertible facts about his murder are contained in a previously-unseen autopsy report by Britain's then-leading forensic pathologist Dr Iain West and Israel State Pathologist Dr Yehuda Hiss. Of all the documents in our possession, these reports confirm the truth about Maxwell's death. ..."
"... Boy that Mueller has had a busy career hasn't he? Didn't he start out in Chicago where he gave Whitey Bulgar cover for being a mob boss? Then there's his cover up before and after 9/11. The weapons of mass destruction that he said Saddam had. The anthrax prosecution, Epstein's pedophilia cover up, HSBC and now he is trying to cover Hillary's buttocks. And maybe Obama's? I'm sure I've missed a few things that he did or didn't do. ..."
"... Acosta was told to stand down by someone at the top of the food chain. Mueller. Ugh what a slimy piece of work he is. But not to the Russia Gaters. Oh no. "He is a highly decorated marine who takes no guff from anyone. ..."
"... In that time, he had free access to Margaret Thatcher's Downing Street, to Ronald Reagan's White House, to the Kremlin and to the corridors of power throughout Europe. ..."
"... Inquiring minds want to know did Maxwell have access to Margaret and Ron because they liked him or because he had something on them? ..."
"... Epstein is the destruction of the Deep State. ..."
"... That pedophelia and politics scandal, better known as the Franklin Coverup, made the papers for a few months, too, before it was made to go away. Similarly, a couple of the operators served some time on reduced charges after that one. ..."
"... The two main suspects in the Bush, Sr. White House child ring were Craig Spence and Lawrence E. King Jr. King sang the National anthem at two GOP national conventions. He served time in jail for bank fraud. Spence was a Republican lobbyist before he committed suicide. Several of his partners went to jail for being involved in the adult part of the homosexual prostitution ring. ..."
"... Mueller's scrupulous avoidance of the CIA link in his prosecution of Manuel Noriega and his diversion of the PanAm 103 bombing and framing of two Libyans. Bobby Mueller has been a real go to guy when the security establishment needs a phony investigation. ..."
"... Bobby Mueller has been a real go to guy when the security establishment needs a phony investigation. ..."
"... The anthrax investigation is the most serious of his crimes. Mueller is being sued by his lead investigator in that case. ..."
"... Every now and then, here and there the curtain lifts for a moment and the political elite of a country, the business elite, the spy services, the military, and organized crime are revealed to be all working together, indeed practically joined at the hip ..."
"... partnership started during the early Cold War with US intelligence officers facilitating the drug trade out of Turkey and Burma through Europe. That soon spread to the Americas and globally. Covert operations such as Gladio, Condor, and the Safari Club, and associated banks (Franklin National Bank, BCCI, Riggs Bank, HSBC, etc.) produced massive human rights violations, transnational terrorism and governmental corruption. The CIA's secret wars provided funds and official cover for private-public sector alliance of criminals, bankers and spooks around the world. ..."
"... The CIA, MI6 and Mossad ran overlapping coordinated operations using privateers, paramilitaries and organized crime networks that consumed vast amounts of cash generated by money laundering mechanisms. Enriched by the looting of the former Soviet Union, along with the infusion of Arab oil money (the Saudi Yamamah slush fund), the "Octopus" became the instrument of Oligarchs that have thoroughly corrupted western governments and secret services. ..."
"... The Snowden release included a number of documents that illustrate the on-line entrapment and political disruption activities run by the two main communications intelligence agencies. ..."
"... Epstein recruits young girls, throws parties where he invites potential hedge fund clients, lets nature take its course and films the proceedings, extracts blackmail in the form of investments to his (largely fake) hedge fund, which actually just buys an index fund (no actual fund management required). He takes a percentage from the coerced investments. Nobody talks because they have too much to lose. No suspicious payments to raise eyebrows at the IRS. ..."
"... Epstein brought in the clients. The CIA/MI-6/Mossad provided necessary cover from the FBI and local cops - then, three or four agencies shared the intelligence take, as they had for decades from Robert Maxwell's operations. ..."
"... For Ghislaine, it was simply carrying on the family business for fun and profit. For the spooks, it was business as usual going back to the Green House, the Berlin bordello founded in the the 1870s by Wilhelm Steiber, a Prussian Police section chief, to provide useful intelligence to Bismarck's Military Intelligence, which he reorganized. ..."
"... Epstein is also well acquainted with University President Lawrence H. Summers. The two serve together on the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, two elite international relations organizations. ..."
"... Epstein's relationships within the academy are remarkable since the tycoon, who has amassed his fortune by managing the wealth of billionaires from his private Caribbean island, does not hold a bachelor's degree. ..."
"... There's a rocky road ahead for Larry Summers. Summers introduces Epstein into the Harvard fold, but becomes reckless with his newly-refined Neoliberalism and his opinions concerning "lady scholars." ..."
Jul 11, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

leveymg on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 11:30am

That was while Robert Mueller ran the Bureau, which means everything about Epstein's blackmail and kompromat operation has been tucked safely away out of sight in FBI files for at least a decade. Much longer, new evidence shows.

For those who may have wondered why Epstein was given such an incredible deal in sentencing, that explains it. Epstein was an extraordinary value informant, and he leveraged it. https://truepundit.com/fbi-pedophile-jeffrey-epstein-was-informant-for-m...

A figure who often gets overlooked in this is Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's chief procurer of underage girls. Ghislaine, the daughter of publishing magnate Robert Maxwell, was granted immunity and never charged in exchange for her own cooperation in the 2008 pseudo-prosecution. https://heavy.com/news/2019/03/ghislaine-maxwell/ ; https://pagesix.com/2016/03/17/alleged-epstein-madam-forced-to-hand-over...

The real question is, why did the FBI wait for more than a decade to bust Epstein and Maxwell?

Epstein and Maxwell came to the attention of the FBI in 1996, when, curiously, the Bureau never acted on an accusation that they had together sexually abused a 15 year old girl in a bedroom inside Epstein's Manhattan townhouse. Documents in a recent law suit filed by an alleged victim, Maria Farmer, show that the FBI had been aware of Epstein and Maxwell's child abuse activities in New York for at least a dozen years before Epstein was finally charged in 2008 with much-reduced Florida state offenses. https://www.yourtango.com/2019323698/who-maria-farmer-latest-woman-accus...

Farmer claims she reported her sexual assault to New York police and the FBI in 1996. "To my knowledge, I was the first person to report Maxwell and Epstein to the FBI," she wrote in her affidavit."

*CIA Acknowledged in 2003, It Knew that Ghislaine Maxwell's Late Father was a Major Foreign Intelligence Agent Operating Inside the U.S.

Previously, Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine's father, had for many years been known to have been involved in high-level espionage in the United States, as detailed in a 2003 publication of the CIA Center for the Study of Intelligence, The Intelligence Officer's Bookshelf . Therein, the CIA reviewer of a biography by British author Gordon Thomas acknowledged about Maxwell: https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-pub...

That Robert Maxwell was a ruthless, corrupt, tax-dodging international businessman who served as an Israeli agent is highly probable.

For the deeper background to the Epstein-Maxwell multinational blackmail, coverup and kompromat operation, we have to look at the events that led up to the 1991 death of Robert Maxwell. A summary of the Maxwell bio by its authors recounts:

British Publisher Robert Maxwell
Was Mossad Spy
By Gordon Thomas And Martin Dillon
The Mirror - UK
12-6-2002
[ . . .]
Eleven years after former Daily Mirror owner Robert Maxwell plunged from his luxury yacht to a watery grave, his death still arouses intense interest.

Many different theories have circulated about what really happened on board the Lady Ghislaine that night in May 1991.

[ . . . ]

The Jewish millionaire and former Labour MP [born Ludvik Hoch
in Czechoslovakia] died the way he had lived - threatening.

He had threatened his wife. Threatened his children. Threatened the staff of this newspaper.

But finally he issued one threat too many - he threatened Mossad.

He told them that unless they gave him £400million to save his crumbling empire, he would expose all he had done for them.

In that time, he had free access to Margaret Thatcher's Downing Street, to Ronald Reagan's White House, to the Kremlin and to the corridors of power throughout Europe.

On top of that he had built himself a position of power within the crime families of eastern Europe, teaching them how to funnel their vast wealth from drugs, arms smuggling and prostitution to banks in safe havens around the globe.

Maxwell passed on all the secrets he learned to Mossad in Tel Aviv. In turn, they tolerated his excesses, vanities and insatiable appetite for a luxurious lifestyle and women.

He told his controllers who they should target and how they should do it. He appointed himself as Israel's unofficial ambassador to the Soviet Bloc. Mossad saw the advantage in that.

[ . . . ]

The more successful Maxwell became the more risks he took and the more dangerous he was to Mossad. At the same time, the very public side of Maxwell, who then owned 400 companies, began to unwind.

He spent lavishly and lost money on deals. The more he lost, the more he tried to claw money from the banks. Then he saw a way out of his problems.

He was approached by Vladimir Kryuchkov, head of the KGB. Spymaster and tycoon met in the utmost secrecy in the Kremlin.

Kryuchkov had an extraordinary proposal. He wanted Maxwell to help orchestrate the overthrow of Mikhail Gorbachev, the reformist Soviet leader. That would bring to an end a fledgling democracy and a return to the Cold War days.

In return, Maxwell's massive debts would be wiped out by a grateful Kryuchkov, who planned to replace Gorbachev. The KGB chief wanted Maxwell to use the Lady Ghislaine, named after Maxwell's daughter, as a meeting place between the Russian plotters, Mossad chiefs and Israel's top politicians.

The plan was for the Israelis to go to Washington and say that democracy could not work in Russia and that it was better to allow the country to return to a modified form of communism, which America could help to control. In return, Kryuchkov would guarantee to free hundreds of thousands of Jews and dissidents in the Soviet republics.

Kryuchkov told Maxwell that he would be seen as a saviour of all those Jews. It was a proposal he could not refuse. But when he put it to his Mossad controllers they were horrified. They said Israel would have no part in such a madcap plan.

For the first time, Maxwell had failed to get his own way. He started to threaten and bluster. He then demanded that, for past services, he should receive immediately a quick fix of £400million to bale him out of his financial difficulties.

Instead of providing the money, a small group of Mossad officers set about planning his murder. They feared that he was going to publicly expose all Mossad had done in the time he worked for them. They knew that he was gradually becoming mentally unstable and paranoid. He was taking a cocktail of drugs - Halcion and Zanax - which had serious side effects.

The group of Mossad plotters sensed, like Solomon, he could bring their temple tumbling down and cause incalculable harm to Israel. The plan to kill him was prepared in the utmost secrecy. A four-man squad was briefed.

Then Maxwell was contacted. He was told to fly to Gibraltar, go aboard the Lady Ghislaine and sail to the Canary Islands. There at sea he would receive his £400million quick fix in the form of a banker's draft. Maxwell did as he was told.

On the night of November 4, 1991, the Lady Ghislaine, one of the world's biggest yachts, was at sea.

[ . . . ]

As Victor Ostrovsky, a former Mossad agent told us: "On that cold night Mossad's problems with Robert Maxwell were over."

The incontrovertible facts about his murder are contained in a previously-unseen autopsy report by Britain's then-leading forensic pathologist Dr Iain West and Israel State Pathologist Dr Yehuda Hiss. Of all the documents in our possession, these reports confirm the truth about Maxwell's death.

Gordon Thomas & Martin Dillon are authors of The Assassination of Robert Maxwell: Israel's Super Spy, published by Robson Books.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/allnews/page.cfm?objectid=12419168&method=f...

The obvious question, why did the U.S. government let these intelligence crimes continue for decades, isn't being asked. The answer is almost self-evident. Information and leverage obtained by Maxwell-Epstein and Co. was far too valuable to its several operators to let it all end too soon.

###

Linda Wood on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 12:45pm
Two parts of your reporting

leap out at me as suggesting how Epstein connects to much bigger subjects. First is the assertion that Maxwell was

... teaching them how to funnel their vast wealth from drugs, arms smuggling and prostitution to banks in safe havens around the globe.

This area of trafficking and money laundering directly connects to Mueller and his essential exoneration of HSBC .

The other quotation that suggests the importance of money laundering is here:

The plan was for the Israelis to go to Washington and say that democracy could not work in Russia and that it was better to allow the country to return to a modified form of communism, which America could help to control.

The life's work of Antony Sutton at Stanford's Hoover Institution shows that American industry was ALWAYS controlling communism as well as Soviet industrial development, and that a trend toward social democracy, represented by Gorbachev, would have put an end to that control.

leveymg on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 4:29pm
Curiously, the CIA review of the Maxwell bio doesn't touch on

@Linda Wood his money laundering and blackmailing activities. While the review confirms that Robert Maxwell was for decades a major Mossad agent actively setting up operations and cover in the United States and the UK, I can only surmise that the spreading political influence of Eastern European organized crime networks and child honey traps are things that the Agency didn't want to discuss publicly in 2003.

As for Mueller, let's not forget that he was FBI Director and before that the head of the Criminal Division at Main Justice at the time that global "black finance" grew along with the catastrophic spread of multinational crime and terrorism. BCCI, Iran-Contra, 9/11, and the rise of transnational Oligarchs happened on his watch. As the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in the United States at the time, it is hard to imagine anyone more responsibility for the ultimate consequences than Robert Mueller. There is perhaps someone who bears ultimate responsibility, the President who appointed Mueller: George Herbert Walker Bush and his lesser son, Shrub, who promoted him.

Pluto's Republic on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 5:21pm
From your own research

@leveymg

... wouldn't you assume that this entire affair is an ongoing Mossad operation, which may or may not have concluded? The US IC is just another operative inside the envelope, but Mossad owns the assets and the intellectual property. I think we could assume that some of this is automated and Mossad has ongoing leverage still in play.

The obvious question, why did the U.S. government let these intelligence crimes continue for decades, isn't being asked. The answer is almost self-evident. Information and leverage obtained by Maxwell-Epstein and Co. was far too valuable to its several operators to let it all end too soon.

.

Mossad's legendary blackmail traps ensnared even high-level deep state authorities and made them pliable. The recent history of United States foreign policy is an enigma that can only be solved when that assumption is inserted. Once the assumption is in place, it opens like a Pandora's box. Don't you find that to be the case?

Thanks for compiling this revealing argument.

Deja on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 11:03pm
HSBC?

@Linda Wood
From your link:

In a recent investigation I presented the case that British banking and financial giant HSBC conspired with banking institutions with documented links to terrorist financing, including those responsible for helping bankroll the 9/11 attacks.

Thank you for the link!

Linda Wood on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 1:11pm
HSBC article

linked here does not mention Mueller but does outline the crimes Mueller worked so hard not to solve:

http://antifascist-calling.blogspot.com/2012/07/black-dossier-hsbc-terro...

SUNDAY, JULY 29, 2012
Black Dossier: HSBC & Terrorist Finance

Moral equivalencies abound. After all, when American secret state agencies manage drug flows or direct terrorist proxies to attack official enemies it's not quite the same as battling terror or crime.

Pounding home that point, a new report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations accused HSBC of exposing "the U.S. financial system to a wide array of money laundering, drug trafficking, and terrorist financing risks due to poor anti-money laundering (AML) controls."

That 335-page report, "U.S. Vulnerabilities to Money Laundering, Drugs, and Terrorist Financing: HSBC Case History," (large pdf file available here ) was issued after a year-long Senate investigation zeroed-in on the bank's U.S. affiliate, HSBC Bank USA, N.A., better known as HBUS.

Drilling down, we learned that amongst the "services" offered by HSBC subsidiaries and correspondent banks were sweet deals with financial entities with terrorist ties; the transportation of billions of dollars in cash by plane and armored car through their London Banknotes division; the clearing of sequentially-numbered travelers checks through dodgy Cayman Islands accounts for Mexican drug lords and Russian mafiosi.

From richly-appointed suites at Canary Wharf, London, the bank's "smartest guys in the room" handed some of the most violent gangsters on earth the financial wherewithal to organize their respective industries: global crime.

A case in point. In 2008 alone the Senate revealed that the bank's Cayman Islands branch handled some 50,000 client accounts (all without benefit of offices or staff on Grand Cayman, mind you), yet still managed to ship some $7 billion (£10.9bn) in cash from Mexico into the U.S. Now that's creative accounting!...

Alligator Ed on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 10:49pm
Thank you, Linda

@Linda Wood HSBC, huh--there must be some clever name for it, which deserves no research.
what an eloquent article you presented. Brief but right on target. It isn't just sex, drugs and rock and roll. Now it is drugs - money -sexual perversion--and perhaps worse? Rumors are flying about what video on the Weiner laptop showed. It is strictly heresay, but a core of folks seem to believe the suspicions are possible.

snoopydawg on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 8:48pm
Boy that Mueller has had a busy career hasn't he? Didn't he start out in Chicago where he gave Whitey Bulgar cover for being a mob boss? Then there's his cover up before and after 9/11. The weapons of mass destruction that he said Saddam had. The anthrax prosecution, Epstein's pedophilia cover up, HSBC and now he is trying to cover Hillary's buttocks. And maybe Obama's? I'm sure I've missed a few things that he did or didn't do.

Acosta is saying that if he hadn't made the plea deal then Epstein would never have served any time in prison. Well he actually only slept there since he got to leave every day for work and then there's the massages he got after his busy day at work. But there were more than 80 pages that the Feds wrote on his escapades so I think that story he told congress is true. Acosta was told to stand down by someone at the top of the food chain. Mueller. Ugh what a slimy piece of work he is. But not to the Russia Gaters. Oh no. "He is a highly decorated marine who takes no guff from anyone.

In that time, he had free access to Margaret Thatcher's Downing Street, to Ronald Reagan's White House, to the Kremlin and to the corridors of power throughout Europe.

Inquiring minds want to know did Maxwell have access to Margaret and Ron because they liked him or because he had something on them?

Great information! The more I learn the more I need a shower.

Linda Wood on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 9:11pm
That needing a shower thing

@snoopydawg

is how I've been feeling all week from reading about this, just more and more demoralized when I think about the depravation of our so-called "leadership." What is it that we're supposed to think of as the new normal after this behavior?

Alligator Ed on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 10:53pm
Linda, you could shower in my extra long tub

@Linda Wood No problem--but, seriously, yecch! Epstein is the destruction of the Deep State.

leveymg on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 1:02pm
Remember Craig Spence and the 1989 Whitehouse Call Boy Ring?

@snoopydawg

That pedophelia and politics scandal, better known as the Franklin Coverup, made the papers for a few months, too, before it was made to go away. Similarly, a couple of the operators served some time on reduced charges after that one.

The two main suspects in the Bush, Sr. White House child ring were Craig Spence and Lawrence E. King Jr. King sang the National anthem at two GOP national conventions. He served time in jail for bank fraud. Spence was a Republican lobbyist before he committed suicide. Several of his partners went to jail for being involved in the adult part of the homosexual prostitution ring.

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/Franklin/FranklinCoverup/l...

Roy Blakeley on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 12:29pm
And let's not forget

@snoopydawg

Mueller's scrupulous avoidance of the CIA link in his prosecution of Manuel Noriega and his diversion of the PanAm 103 bombing and framing of two Libyans. Bobby Mueller has been a real go to guy when the security establishment needs a phony investigation.

Linda Wood on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 1:09pm
Absolutely.

@Roy Blakeley

You sum it up perfectly:

Bobby Mueller has been a real go to guy when the security establishment needs a phony investigation.

The anthrax investigation is the most serious of his crimes. Mueller is being sued by his lead investigator in that case.

Because researchers in our biological weapons labs went public with what they were doing, and where such research was being done in the U.S., we learned the CIA was one of several outfits doing biological weapons research.

But Mueller exonerated all of them, including the CIA, with no explanation and only focused on a lone vaccine researcher at the Army lab when journalists began to ask why no one had been indicted after seven years of investigation, at which point the FBI attempted to harass the suspect into committing suicide.

lotlizard on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 1:44am
Comparable to "Deep State" scandals in Turkey?

Every now and then, here and there the curtain lifts for a moment and the political elite of a country, the business elite, the spy services, the military, and organized crime are revealed to be all working together, indeed practically joined at the hip.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susurluk_scandal

https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/ergenekon-plot-massive-trial-...

leveymg on Sat, 07/13/2019 - 11:08am
Read "Politics of Heroin in SE Asia". The CIA-Mafia-warlord

@lotlizard @lotlizard

partnership started during the early Cold War with US intelligence officers facilitating the drug trade out of Turkey and Burma through Europe. That soon spread to the Americas and globally. Covert operations such as Gladio, Condor, and the Safari Club, and associated banks (Franklin National Bank, BCCI, Riggs Bank, HSBC, etc.) produced massive human rights violations, transnational terrorism and governmental corruption. The CIA's secret wars provided funds and official cover for private-public sector alliance of criminals, bankers and spooks around the world.

This "dark alliance" assumed a political and economic life of its own beyond its original intent to counter communist movements. By the Vietnam War, Agency operators were running most of the heroin trade in the world through proprietary airlines, banks and logistics companies. In the mid-1970s, CIA Director Bush expanded privatization with Saudi funding in his Safari Club deal that eventually morphed into Al Qaeda and ISIS.

The CIA, MI6 and Mossad ran overlapping coordinated operations using privateers, paramilitaries and organized crime networks that consumed vast amounts of cash generated by money laundering mechanisms. Enriched by the looting of the former Soviet Union, along with the infusion of Arab oil money (the Saudi Yamamah slush fund), the "Octopus" became the instrument of Oligarchs that have thoroughly corrupted western governments and secret services.

Multinational honey trap operations such as Maxwell-Epstein & Co. are an inevitable and continuing part of this privatization and criminalization of intelligence that stretches back to the days of Tom Braden and Cord Meyer handing out stacks of greenbacks to Mafiosi on the Corsican Docks.

leveymg on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 11:31am
NSA and GCHQ have gotten into the honeytrap and influence game

@leveymg

The Snowden release included a number of documents that illustrate the on-line entrapment and political disruption activities run by the two main communications intelligence agencies.

"Honey-trap; a great option. Very successful, when it works" (GCHQ, UK training program slide)

https://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2014/05/lots-of-secret-nsa-documents-plu...

The "Information Ops" category is of particular interest to me...

Does this really seem like the sort of thing that would be done only to a jihadist...?

WoodsDweller on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 1:48pm
Here's an interesting take

https://www.alternet.org/2019/07/epstein-was-running-a-blackmail-scheme-...

Without quoting the whole thing (which is worth a read):

Epstein recruits young girls, throws parties where he invites potential hedge fund clients, lets nature take its course and films the proceedings, extracts blackmail in the form of investments to his (largely fake) hedge fund, which actually just buys an index fund (no actual fund management required). He takes a percentage from the coerced investments. Nobody talks because they have too much to lose. No suspicious payments to raise eyebrows at the IRS.

There's no need to invoke the Mafia/Russia/Mossad/CIA/etc, that's just needlessly overfitting.

Except such an operation would be quite attractive to intelligence services. Maybe they were in on the ground floor, maybe they made Epstein an offer he couldn't refuse once they heard about it.

leveymg on Sat, 07/13/2019 - 10:28am
My gut tells me that G. Maxwell provided the Know-how, and

@WoodsDweller

Epstein brought in the clients. The CIA/MI-6/Mossad provided necessary cover from the FBI and local cops - then, three or four agencies shared the intelligence take, as they had for decades from Robert Maxwell's operations.

For Ghislaine, it was simply carrying on the family business for fun and profit. For the spooks, it was business as usual going back to the Green House, the Berlin bordello founded in the the 1870s by Wilhelm Steiber, a Prussian Police section chief, to provide useful intelligence to Bismarck's Military Intelligence, which he reorganized.

Steiber is considered the father of modern espionage. His methods were vastly influential, and he attracted students from London, St. Petersburg to Tokyo. Each put their own national spin on the science of sexual blackmail. As for the Japanese, they are among the most interesting and innovative in their use of a parallel network of privatized intelligence services incorporating underworld Yakuzi groups alongside conventional military intelligence units. Using compromise, they gained and maintained control over Imperial Japan and its Colonies: https://weaponsandwarfare.com/2019/03/15/eastern-peril/

To realize these divinely inspired ambitions, Japan needed a modern espionage system. Adopting the German model, Japanese officials were sent to study under Wilhelm Stieber in the mid-1870s. Over the next decade Japan built up separate army and naval intelligence services, each with an accompanying branch of secret military police (Kempeitai for the army and Tokeitai for the navy). These latter organizations also provided an excellent counter-espionage service. However, where the Japanese were unique was in the use of spies belonging to unofficial secret societies working alongside or independently of the official intelligence agencies. These shadowy institutions were ultra-nationalist by nature, drawing their membership from a cross-section of Japanese society, including the military, politics, industry and Yakuza underworld. Under ruthless leadership, their henchmen would spy on, subvert and corrupt Japan's Far East neighbours.

For more on Steiber and his superior, von Hinckeldey, methods of international counter-insurgency, espionage, and political policing included deception and a forerunner of today's internet surveillance: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2006/11/29/275653/-

While armies are essential to the maintenance of autocracy, the preservation of dynastic rule and the prevention of democracy requires an effective secret police. The suppression of its middle-class constitutionalists [during the 1840s] was followed by the expansion of the Prussian political police under Karl Ludwig Friedrich von Hinckeldey.

Appointed police president of Berlin in late 1848, Hinckeldey was an innovator of many of the features of modern systematic political policing. Among the tactics that he introduced with his new police system in Berlin was the "Litfass columns". Named for Ernst Litfass, Frederick William's court printer, he had dozens of these large poles erected in strategic spots around Berlin. The public posting of political notices was then banned. By application to a state office for a waiver, however, the columns could be used to display messages. The police dutifully recorded the names of all who had applied. A. Richie, Faust's Metropolis: A History of Berlin, New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1998 at p.134.

LEGACY OF THE LITFASS COLUMNS: A similar ploy was later adopted by the People's Republic of China. In the mid-1980s, the Communist authorities at first appear to tolerate the operation of a so-called Democracy Wall, where "dissidents" in Beijing could post political writings, initially, without being arrested. Similar walls then sprung up under the noses of the authorities in other Chinese cities. For this apparent opening to democracy, the Deng regime much applauded, particularly by some in the Reagan-Bush Administration, eager to legitimize the regime and its growing commercial ties with U.S. corporations. Eventually, many of those who had availed themselves of the wall to post political messages were, of course, arrested in the roundup of hundreds of thousands of democracy supporters that followed the Tienamen Square massacre. The impression of anonymity and "freedom" conveyed by the Internet, of course, presents a similar opportunity for police to cast a wide net for identifying persons and organizations who may not hold favor for the regime in power, or may not in the future.

Hinckeldey also founded the Police Union, the first recorded international network of counterrevolutionary police spies in modern times. Primarily made up of police officers from Prussia and the German states, the Union operated throughout Europe, Britain and in the United States. The Union was run by his deputy, the notorious police provocateur, Wilhelm Steiber, who would later reorganize the Okhrana along similar lines. Internationally active from 1851-1866, the Police Union, according to Mathieu Deflem, was "one of the first formal initiatives in industrial society to establish an organized police system across national borders."13

I disagree with the Alternet view on this. See, this is the norm. A purely private sexual blackmail ring of any scale would be the historical exception. It certainly wouldn't survive very long.

Pluto's Republic on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 5:45pm
This is a chilling thought I try to avoid.

@leveymg

...authorities at first appear to tolerate the operation of a so-called Democracy Wall, where "dissidents" in Beijing could post political writings.... Similar walls then sprung up under the noses of the authorities in other Chinese cities. Eventually, many of those who had availed themselves of the wall to post political messages were, of course, arrested in the roundup of hundreds of thousands of democracy supporters....

The impression of anonymity and "freedom" conveyed by the Internet, of course, presents a similar opportunity for police to cast a wide net for identifying persons and organizations who may not hold favor for the regime in power, or may not in the future.

But why should one avoid the thought? If the situation looks like the people are going to lose the war for their minds, and are unwilling to back a publisher like Assange who has given his all to try to empower them, why should anyone put themselves at risk by expressing their opinions? It's a honeypot of our own making, just as Facebook is where people go to write their own dossiers for the Authorities.

leveymg on Sat, 07/13/2019 - 10:36am
Every time you entrap yourself as

@Pluto's Republic an enemy of the status quo, you raise the calculated costs of the eventual crackdown, pushing back the day of reckoning. Keep it up! Visible rebellion is the only defense of the people.

Pluto's Republic on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 5:54pm
Background: If someone were to choose the ideal node

...from which to leverage access to the elite, Harvard University would be a top choice.

Jeffery Epstein actually entered the social salons of the elite through many doors. He was, of course, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. One would have to be to rub shoulders with the political elite. From there he matriculated to the Trilateral Commission becoming friendly with Harvard President, Larry Summers. **

Becoming a surprise mystery philanthropist at Harvard, with Summers help, was a booster rocket for Epstein. In the Havard Crimson , in June 2003, Epstein's involvement with Harvard was celebrated.

People in the News: Jeffrey E. Epstein

Elusive financier Jeffrey E. Epstein donated $30 million this year to Harvard for the founding of a mathematical biology and evolutionary dynamics program.

While the mathematics teacher turned magnate remained unknown to most people until he flew President Clinton, Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker to Africa to explore the problems of AIDS and economic development facing the region, Epstein has been a familiar face to many at Harvard for years.

Networking with the University's leading intellectuals, Epstein has spurred research through both discussions with and dollars contributed to various faculty members.

Lindsley Professor of Psychology Stephen M. Kosslyn, former Dean of the Faculty Henry A. Rosovsky and Frankfurter Professor of Law Alan M. Dershowitz are among Epstein's bevy of eminent friends that includes princes, presidents and Nobel Prize winners.

Epstein is also well acquainted with University President Lawrence H. Summers. The two serve together on the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, two elite international relations organizations.

Epstein's collection of high-profile friends also includes newly-recruited professor Martin A. Nowak, who will run Harvard's mathematical biology and evolutionary dynamics program.

Like Kosslyn, Rosovsky and Dershowitz, Nowak praises Epstein's numerous relationships within the scientific community.

"I am amazed by the connections he has in the scientific world," Nowak says. "He knows an amazing number of scientists. He knows everyone you can imagine."

Epstein's relationships within the academy are remarkable since the tycoon, who has amassed his fortune by managing the wealth of billionaires from his private Caribbean island, does not hold a bachelor's degree.

Yet, friends and beneficiaries say they do not see Epstein merely as a man with deep pockets, but as an intellectual equal.

Dershowitz says Epstein is "brilliant" and Kosslyn calls Epstein "one of the brightest people I've ever known."

Epstein's beneficiaries say they are particularly appreciative of the no-strings-attached approach Epstein takes with his donations.

"He is one of the most pleasant philanthropists," Nowak says. "Unlike many people who support science, he supports science without any conditions. There are not any disadvantages to associating with him."

Friends and associates say Harvard stands to benefit from its evolving relationship with Epstein.

"I hope that he will, over time, become one of the leading supporters of science at Harvard," Rosovsky writes in an e-mail.

__________________________________________
** A footnote on Larry Summers seems important here: Harvard-trained economists have been running the US economy for a very long time, and continue to do so. Summers began his ascent as a professor of economics at Harvard University, leaving shortly before Bill Clinton won the Presidency. He was clearly the Neoliberal seed planted for the New American Century.

In 1993, Summers was appointed Undersecretary for International Affairs of the United States Department of the Treasury under the Clinton Administration. In 1995, he was promoted to Deputy Secretary of the Treasury under his long-time political mentor Robert Rubin. In 1999, he succeeded Rubin as Secretary of the Treasury.

While working for the Clinton administration Summers played a leading role in the American response to the 1994 economic crisis in Mexico, the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and the Russian financial crisis. He was also influential in the Harvard Institute for International Development and American-advised privatization of the economies of the post-Soviet states, and in the deregulation of the U.S financial system, including the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act.

At This Point the Ball is Passed to the Bush Team Republicans, while the Democrats Sit Back and Wait for 2008.

There's now a Treasury surplus to transfer to the wealthy, and the necessary deregulation for Wall Street empowerment is in place. The Soviet era had ended and Russia is ended forever. The world is finally primed to be seized by the One Exceptional Power. It's 2001, and we are standing on the threshold of the New American Century . Time to throw a flash-bang of chaos onto the world stage and trigger the booming War Economy that will carry us directly to global control.

There's a rocky road ahead for Larry Summers. Summers introduces Epstein into the Harvard fold, but becomes reckless with his newly-refined Neoliberalism and his opinions concerning "lady scholars."

Following the end of Clinton's term, Summers served as the 27th President of Harvard University from 2001 to 2006. Summers resigned as Harvard's president in the wake of a no-confidence vote by Harvard faculty, which resulted in large part from Summers's conflict with Cornel West, financial conflict of interest questions regarding his relationship with Andrei Shleifer, and a 2005 speech in which he suggested that the under-representation of women in science and engineering could be due to a "different availability of aptitude at the high end", and less to patterns of discrimination and socialization. Remarking upon political correctness in institutions of higher education, Summers said in 2016:

Summers resigned as Harvard's president in the wake of a no-confidence vote by Harvard faculty, which resulted in large part from Summers's conflict with Cornel West, financial conflict of interest questions regarding his relationship with Andrei Shleifer, and a 2005 speech in which he suggested that the under-representation of women in science and engineering

There is a great deal of absurd political correctness. Now, I'm somebody who believes very strongly in diversity, who resists racism in all of its many incarnations, who thinks that there is a great deal that's unjust in American society that needs to be combated, but it seems to be that there is a kind of creeping totalitarianism in terms of what kind of ideas are acceptable and are debatable on college campuses.

After his departure from Harvard, Summers cooled his jets on Wall Street, positioning himself to be called back into the game when it was Team Democrat's turn in 2008.

Summers worked as a managing partner at the hedge fund D. E. Shaw & Co., and as a freelance speaker at other financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers. Summers rejoined public service during the Obama administration, serving as the Director of the White House United States National Economic Council for President Barack Obama from January 2009 until November 2010, where he emerged as a key economic decision-maker in the Obama administration's response to the Great Recession.

Jeffery Epstein continued to weave himself into the fabric of government like a good psychopath would. He was by no means the only one.

[Jul 29, 2019] Alex Acosta let the cat out of the bag the Justice Department knew all about the Jeffrey Epstein Florida plea deal by Robert Willmann

Notable quotes:
"... A secret plea bargain and non-prosecution agreement with the federal government is what happened. It shifted the public face to the Florida state court system with Epstein pleading to two state prostitution crimes, which implied, of course, that the complainants were prostitutes. The public is now aware that the result was Epstein sleeping at the county jail and then going to his office during the day, for 13 months. Registering as a sex offender has not curtailed his travel or daily activity. ..."
"... The whole nasty business disappeared from view and would have stayed hidden in its nicely wrapped package except that two civil lawsuits have pulled some of it into the light. ..."
"... With that background, we come to the recent fascinating events, in which Epstein was arrested, and the role of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta in this whole rotten mess was revealed to some extent. He had been the U.S. Attorney for that part of Florida at that time ..."
"... There you have it: "... this case ... had input and vetting at multiple levels of the Department of Justice." The cat was out of the bag. It was a sad sight: Alex Acosta, after achieving two significant positions in the federal government, took a dive to be the fall guy. ..."
"... The non-prosecution agreement has signature dates from 24 September to 7 December 2007, and page 3 of Robert Josefsberg's lawsuit against Epstein confirms this. The Department of Justice is a bureaucracy, and even though a U.S. Attorney has significant authority and some independence, the Justice Department in Washington D.C. -- sometimes called "Main Justice" -- ultimately controls things. In the organizational chart, the U.S. Attorneys are under the Deputy Attorney General, the number two person [6] ..."
"... The U.S. Attorney General from 3 February 2005 to 17 September 2007 was Alberto Gonzales. Michael Mukasey was nominated on 17 September and became Attorney General on 8 November 2007 until Eric Holder was sworn in on 3 February 2009. ..."
"... The FBI Director from 4 September 2001 to 4 September 2013 was Robert Mueller. ..."
"... And from July 2008 into this year, the Justice Department has resisted the CVRA lawsuit in Florida. ..."
"... This material is presented here for viewing or downloading so that you can think for yourself. Mass media has reported next to nothing about the 11-year course of the Crime Victims' Rights Act lawsuit and the detail in the first 22 pages of the trial court's opinion, other than that the court found the government violated the CVRA. I am not aware of one word reported about the 2010 lawsuit brought by Robert Josefsberg against Epstein for breaching the non-prosecution agreement. ..."
"... Jeffrey Epstein was being protected. The process and communications that accomplished it, and who did it, are not yet known. ..."
"... Why nobody is above the law! Not even a President! Oh! Wait! 23 flights! And a scion of the house of Windsor allegedly involved as well? ..."
"... "The federal non-prosecution agreement Epstein's legal team negotiated with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida immunized all named and unnamed "potential co-conspirators" in Epstein's child trafficking network, which includes those who allegedly procured minors for Epstein and also any powerbrokers who may have molested them." ..."
"... Who gets a plea deal in which "all named and unnamed potential co-conspirators" get immunity? https://gawker.com/flight-logs-put-clinton-dershowitz-on-pedophile-billio-1681039971 ..."
"... Epstein's NPA was limited to the Florida district of federal courts, hence another branch of the federal courts, the Southern District of New York, was free to re-open the issue..and did. ..."
"... Acosta says he acted in accordance with his superior's wishes at the DOJ. Plausible, but lets see some corroborating evidence. If he agreed to negotiate this NPA without getting his boss's orders in writing he is a remarkable fool. ..."
"... Arkancide? Epstein is linked with E Barak, and Nicole Junkermann, per flight logs. Presumably that is the intelligence link Acosta was babbling about. https://carbyne911.com/team/ ..."
"... Doubt if Bubba Bill was involved in any of Epstein's sexual shenanigans after being burnt by Lewinsky. Clinton always had the proverbial ability to "talk a dog off a gut wagon" and could most likely find an agreeable partner elsewhere. Might be wrong but doubt it. ..."
"... If I understand correctly, Epstein broke the agreement. Would it follow that the WTF!? immunity deal is now nixed? ..."
"... Crossing the Clinton cabal in any manner is seriously dangerous. The list of those who have and died mysteriously is very long. ..."
"... The sweetheart deal that Epstein received from Acosta and the DOJ seems rather unusual for the felony that is such a social taboo as you note. Not only did he get off extremely lightly but his co-conspirators were completely let off the hook. The way the children who were raped were also treated by the courts was also shameful. ..."
"... This case epitomizes the travesty of the current state of the rule of law. Sexual predators of children are typically thrown the book and quickly taken off the streets to serve a long sentence. Not only did that not happen but even worse he was allowed to continue his despicable behavior out in the open even when he was supposed to be serving his sentence. Clearly he had some powerful friends in the Bush administration, but even with these connections when such execrable behavior is shown repeatedly there were none with a conscience. A sad testament to the state of our justice system. ..."
"... The usual plea agreement requires the defendant to plead guilty to some federal criminal offense. The Epstein agreement did not require him to plead to a federal crime. It also did not require him to debrief or provide them with information. To the contrary, it required that the federal government do nothing to him or to other people who helped him or conspired with him to commit federal crimes! ..."
Jul 18, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

16 July 2019 Alex Acosta let the cat out of the bag: the Justice Department knew all about the Jeffrey Epstein Florida plea deal

A taboo in our culture that is also a crime is sexual contact with a child or young person -- usually less than 17 or 18 years old -- by an adult or older person. An exception is sexual experimentation during the struggle of adolescence, when the persons are no more than around two or three years apart in age, as long as there is consent. A greater age difference creates the crime often called "statutory rape", in which a statute (a law passed by a legislature) says that legal consent for sexual contact cannot be given by the underage person.

This taboo is a strong one, even more so than homicide, about which there are various levels and justifications, such as self-defense. All over the country on a regular basis, underage sex crime cases are tried to a jury, even without medical or forensic evidence. And with just one complainant and victim.

But then Jeffrey Epstein is named as a suspect in underage sex crimes in Palm Beach County, Florida, with not one complainant, but with at least 20.

What was the local State Attorney, Barry Krischer, going to do? Apparently, not very much. Attention shifted to the federal U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alexander Acosta, and the FBI. Was a federal prosecution pursued? No. Nothing.

A secret plea bargain and non-prosecution agreement with the federal government is what happened. It shifted the public face to the Florida state court system with Epstein pleading to two state prostitution crimes, which implied, of course, that the complainants were prostitutes. The public is now aware that the result was Epstein sleeping at the county jail and then going to his office during the day, for 13 months. Registering as a sex offender has not curtailed his travel or daily activity.

The whole nasty business disappeared from view and would have stayed hidden in its nicely wrapped package except that two civil lawsuits have pulled some of it into the light.

On 7 July 2008, a case under the federal Crime Victims' Rights Act (CVRA) was filed in the Southern District of Florida by lawyers Paul Cassell, Bradley Edwards, and two others against the federal government, with case number 08-cv-80736 [1]. Around ten and a half years later, on 21 February 2019, the trial court judge issued a 33-page opinion and order granting a request for partial summary judgment by two victims, ruling that there was no genuine issue of material fact about the assertion that the government violated the CVRA by failing properly to confer with the victims, and that therefore a contested trial on that issue is not necessary. The opinion is worth reading, and the first 22 pages are a detailed statement of facts about the non-prosecution agreement and the activity surrounding it by lawyers for the government and Epstein, giving an insight into what was going on. The beginning of the opinion references four startling factual assertions made by the complainants in their request for summary judgment and which the federal government admitted without qualification in its response [2]:

"1. Between about 1999 and 2007, Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused more than 30 minor girls, including Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, at his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, located in the Southern District of Florida, and elsewhere in the United States and overseas.

"2. Because Epstein and his co-conspirators knowingly traveled in interstate and international commerce to sexually abuse Jane Doe 1, Jane Doe 2, and other similarly situated victims, they committed violations of not only Florida law (see, e,g., Fla. Stat. sections 794.05, 796.04, 796.045, 39.201 and 777.04), but also federal law, including repeated violations of 18 U.S.C. sections 1591, 2421, 2422, 2423, and 371).

"3. In addition to personally abusing his victims, Epstein also directed other persons to sexually abuse the girls. For example, Nadia Marcinkova sexually abused Jane Doe 1 and other victims at the direction of Epstein.

"8. More generally, the FBI established that Epstein used paid employees to repeatedly find and bring minor girls to him. Epstein worked in concert with others to obtain minor girls not only for his own sexual gratification, but also for the sexual gratification of others."

The opinion in the CVRA case is here https://turcopolier.typepad.com/files/jeffreyepstein_cvra__court_opinion_20190221.pdf

The present court activity is to figure out a procedure to determine a remedy for the government's violation of the CVRA and to establish a remedy.

On 17 May 2010, a lawsuit revealing more of Epstein's degenerate attitude and mentality was filed in federal court in the Southern District of Florida, with case number 10-cv-21586. It was based on parts 7 and 8 of the plea bargain / non-prosecution agreement, that--

"7. The United Sates shall provide Epstein's attorneys with a list of individuals whom it has identified as victims, as defined in 18 U.S.C. section 2255, after Epstein has signed this agreement and been sentenced. Upon the execution of this agreement, the United States, in consultation with and subject to the good faith approval of Epstein's counsel, shall select an attorney representative for these persons, who shall be paid for by Epstein. Epstein's counsel may contact the indentified individuals through that representative.

"8. [In part] If any of the individuals referred to in paragraph (7), supra , elects to file suit pursuant to 18 U.S.C. section 2255, Epstein will not contest the jurisdiction of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida over his person and/or the subject matter, and Epstein waives his right to contest liability and also waives his right to contest damages up to an amount as agreed to between the identified individual and Epstein, so long as the identified individual elects to proceed exclusively under 18 U.S.C. section 2255, and agrees to waive any other claim for damages, whether pursuant to state, federal, or common law."

Title 18, U.S. Code, section 2255, creates the right for an underage person (a minor) to bring a civil lawsuit in federal court for money for personal injury suffered as a victim of certain federal crimes. The victim can seek money for the actual harm suffered, or the fixed amount of $150,000, plus attorney fees and litigation costs. [3].

The attorney representative selected to help the females who wanted to seek compensation by that route under the non-prosecution agreement (NPA) was Robert Josefsberg, of the Podhurst & Orseck law firm in Miami, Florida, known to have experience in litigation. Some number over 12 of the 34 females named by the U.S. Attorney's Office as complainants against Epstein sought compensation through the representative.

However, although Epstein agreed in the NPA to pay the attorney representative and to not contest liability in the claims the females made under 18 U.S.C. 2255, he not only breached the agreement by contesting liability in the cases, but also he paid only a small part of what was owed to Josefsberg, and tried to stiff the representative by not paying over $2 million dollars due for attorney fees and costs!

For over 20 months, Josefsberg tried unsuccessfully to get Epstein to pay him under the NPA, and finally sued Epstein for breach of contract and breach of the implied doctrine of good faith and fair dealing. Attached to the lawsuit document was a copy of the NPA. Here are the scandalous plea bargain / non-prosecution agreement and addendum, and the informative original petition brought by the representative for some of the victimized females:

This produced an amusing turn of events, shown by the court clerk's docket sheet. Epstein quickly settled with the attorney representative by 8 June 2010, only 22 days after the lawsuit was filed [4]. After all, he had breached the NPA and it could have been cancelled (and should have been) and a prosecution started in Florida.

Picking apart the NPA is in itself an interesting exercise, but looking at the agreement as a whole, you can see that it is designed to keep his sexually abusive conduct from being disclosed, both as to criminal charges -- he pled only to state prostitution offenses -- and as to civil cases involving females who decided to seek compensation through the NPA's representative and 18 U.S.C. section 2255. In those civil cases, Epstein agreed to not challenge his liability, so no stories would be told in court; the only issue would be the amount of money to be paid.

With that background, we come to the recent fascinating events, in which Epstein was arrested, and the role of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta in this whole rotten mess was revealed to some extent. He had been the U.S. Attorney for that part of Florida at that time. The NPA on page 2 asserted that: "On the authority of R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, prosecution in this District for these offenses shall be deferred in favor of prosecution by the State of Florida, provided that Epstein abides by the following conditions and the requirements of this Agreement set forth below".

Well, not exactly. When publicity heated up, fingers were pointed at Acosta with the usual hollering by some that he should resign. This produced a pathetic press conference on Wednesday, 10 July, in which Acosta tried to justify what the materials presented above reveal [5]. On Friday, 12 July, when president Trump went outside the White House to talk to the press before leaving on a trip, Acosta went with him. At around 1 minute, 40 seconds into this short video excerpt, Acosta says:

"I have seen coverage of this case, that is over 12 years old, that had input and vetting at multiple levels of the Department of Justice. And as I look forward, I do not think it is right and fair for this administration's labor department to have Epstein as the focus, rather than the incredible economy that we have today. And so I called the president this morning. I told him that I thought the right thing was to step aside...."

https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4806893/labor-secretary-acosta-resigns-jeffrey-epstein-plea-deal-controversy

There you have it: "... this case ... had input and vetting at multiple levels of the Department of Justice." The cat was out of the bag. It was a sad sight: Alex Acosta, after achieving two significant positions in the federal government, took a dive to be the fall guy.

"Multiple levels" of "input" and "vetting" at the DOJ, you say? Who might that be?

The non-prosecution agreement has signature dates from 24 September to 7 December 2007, and page 3 of Robert Josefsberg's lawsuit against Epstein confirms this. The Department of Justice is a bureaucracy, and even though a U.S. Attorney has significant authority and some independence, the Justice Department in Washington D.C. -- sometimes called "Main Justice" -- ultimately controls things. In the organizational chart, the U.S. Attorneys are under the Deputy Attorney General, the number two person [6]

https://www.justice.gov/agencies/chart

The U.S. Attorney General from 3 February 2005 to 17 September 2007 was Alberto Gonzales. Michael Mukasey was nominated on 17 September and became Attorney General on 8 November 2007 until Eric Holder was sworn in on 3 February 2009.

The FBI Director from 4 September 2001 to 4 September 2013 was Robert Mueller.

More research is needed to identify persons in various positions in the Department of Justice from 2005 through at least 2010, when Epstein breached the NPA by contesting liability and failing to pay attorney fees and costs, and had to be sued by Robert Josefsberg and the Podhurst & Orseck law firm.

And from July 2008 into this year, the Justice Department has resisted the CVRA lawsuit in Florida.

The CVRA opinion on page 3 confirmed that by May 2007, the U.S. Attorney's Office had drafted a 53-page indictment and an 82-page prosecution memorandum about federal sex crimes committed by Epstein. The opinion on pages 5-6 quotes a letter to Epstein's counsel that the U.S. Attorney's office did not have the power to bind the Immigration service, but that they did not plan on bringing immigration charges against two of Epstein's female co-conspirators.

The CVRA opinion on page 7 tells us that--

"On September 21, 2007, Palm Beach County State Attorney Barry Krischer wrote the line prosecutor [Assistant U.S. Attorney] about the proposed agreement and added: 'Glad we could get this worked out for reasons I won't put in writing. After this is resolved I would love to buy you a cup at Starbucks and have a conversation'."

This material is presented here for viewing or downloading so that you can think for yourself. Mass media has reported next to nothing about the 11-year course of the Crime Victims' Rights Act lawsuit and the detail in the first 22 pages of the trial court's opinion, other than that the court found the government violated the CVRA. I am not aware of one word reported about the 2010 lawsuit brought by Robert Josefsberg against Epstein for breaching the non-prosecution agreement.

From this information, you can see the brazen lack of a basis for the extra protection put in the plea bargain / NPA on page 5, that--

"In consideration of Epstein's agreement to plead guilty and to provide compensation in the manner described above, if Epstein successfully fulfills all of the terms and conditions of this agreement, the United States also agrees that it will not institute any criminal charges against any potential co-conspirators of Epstein, including but not limited to Sarah Kellen, Adriana Ross, Lesley Groff, or Nadia Marcinkova."

Jeffrey Epstein was being protected. The process and communications that accomplished it, and who did it, are not yet known.

[1] The Crime Victims' Rights Act, Title 18, United States Code, section 3771

http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title18/part2/chapter237&edition=prelim

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/3771

[2] The request (motion) for partial summary judgment by the victims (Jane Doe 1 and 2) contained a list of what they claimed were 157 undisputed material facts. The federal government filed a response which either admitted, or admitted with a qualification, or denied the asserted facts. The numbered facts 1, 2, 3, and 8 were admitted.

[3] Title 18, U.S. Code, section 2255

http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title18-section2255&num=0&edition=prelim

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2255

[4] The court clerk's docket sheet for the Robert Josefsberg and Podhurst & Orseck lawsuit against Epstein

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/files/jeffreyepstein_docket_sheet_did_not_pay_lawsuit.pdf

[5] https://www.c-span.org/video/?462479-1/labor-secretary-defends-handling-epstein-plea-deal-amid-calls-resignation

[6] A text version of the Department of Justice organizational chart

https://www.justice.gov/agencies/organizational-chart-text-version

Posted at 08:30 PM in Administration , Current Affairs , government , Justice | Permalink


GeneO , 16 July 2019 at 11:50 PM

I had hoped we would learn from today's hearings more regarding Epstein's source of wealth - and exactly how much it was. Plus more info on his doctored passport. More about the money trail between him and various Florida officials.

Anyone new calling the tip line - especially from during his time as a teacher at that prep school in NY? And more about the Dershowitz and Starr involvement back 12 years ago.

Unfortunately the food fight between Trump and the four frosh sucked all the air out of the media.

Walrus , 17 July 2019 at 01:58 AM
Why nobody is above the law! Not even a President! Oh! Wait! 23 flights! And a scion of the house of Windsor allegedly involved as well?

Is it going to be possible to clean the stable? If it isn't, you have lost your Republic.

anon , 17 July 2019 at 07:58 AM
Came across this site with the court documents .The FBI travelled to Australia in 2011 and interviewed ms Roberts at the american consulate in Sydney.9 years ago then in 2015 she sued Epstein and maxwell. Only now in 2019 did Epstein fly back from Paris knowing he was going to be arrested.

Some of those girls were collecting info for him and getting paid. The whole thing stinks time to call in the plumbers.

John Minehan , 17 July 2019 at 10:33 AM
I saw this in a couple of places ( https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/i-was-told-epstein-belonged-to-intelligence-and-to-leave-it-alone; https://www.dailywire.com/news/49355/acosta-was-told-epstein-belonged-intelligence-ryan-saavedra; https://hotair.com/archives/allahpundit/2019/07/10/alex-acosta-mean-allegedly-said-epstein-belonged-intelligence/) and I'm not sure if it the report is accurate. (It's not showing up in the NY Times or The economist. But it doesn't seem impossible.

Many things are disposed of by plea Bargaining. With high profile crimes, it is always difficult to know if you did the right thing. Here, it is fairly obvious it wasn't. Acosta is a Harvard College/HLS, a very able and connected guy and his error here has damaged his life.

JamesT , 17 July 2019 at 11:17 AM
The part that I haven't seen being reported or discussed:

"The federal non-prosecution agreement Epstein's legal team negotiated with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida immunized all named and unnamed "potential co-conspirators" in Epstein's child trafficking network, which includes those who allegedly procured minors for Epstein and also any powerbrokers who may have molested them."

Who gets a plea deal in which "all named and unnamed potential co-conspirators" get immunity? https://gawker.com/flight-logs-put-clinton-dershowitz-on-pedophile-billio-1681039971

Barbara Ann , 17 July 2019 at 12:38 PM
Department of what now?

Thanks for the link to the NPA I didn't realize it was in the public domain, it is an astonishing read. I'm not familiar with NPA's (having never been party to one!) so forgive me if the following questions are uninformed:

To what extent are NPA's legally binding upon the USG, are there circumstances where a court can set one aside for reasons other than breach of contract?

The NPA appears to try and indemnify Epstein and both known and unknown co-conspirators (Ghislaine Maxwell?) in both the offenses prosecuted and any other offenses subject to the joint USAO/FBI investigation . In fact on page 5 the indemnity given uses the wording "the [US] also agrees it will not institute any criminal charges against any potential co-conspirators of Epstein included but not limited to.." (my emphasis) i.e. scope here appears to be unlimited. This cannot be legally enforceable surely?

I thought NPA's were used to go after people further up the food chain. This one seems to have given carte blanche immunity to all involved at every level. I'm astonished Acosta had the authority, merely with "consultation" within DOJ to do this. This is a travesty and is starting to make FISA abuse look like chicken feed.

Mark Logan said in reply to Barbara Ann... , 17 July 2019 at 08:57 PM
Barbara,

Epstein's NPA was limited to the Florida district of federal courts, hence another branch of the federal courts, the Southern District of New York, was free to re-open the issue..and did.

Acosta says he acted in accordance with his superior's wishes at the DOJ. Plausible, but lets see some corroborating evidence. If he agreed to negotiate this NPA without getting his boss's orders in writing he is a remarkable fool.

Walrus , 17 July 2019 at 12:56 PM

Was Acosta making an "error"? Looks to me he was a fully paid up member of the Swamp, doing what swampians do and he will no doubt settle back into a Swamp law firm or Professorship somewhere. Weep not for him.
Harry , 17 July 2019 at 01:24 PM
What a fantastic piece! Excellent work and I cannot poke a hole in the reasoning.
Walrus , 17 July 2019 at 03:24 PM
As previously observed, Epstein is going to be killed. Arkancide. The poor schmuck that does it won't realize that he is next.
Marc b. said in reply to Walrus ... , 17 July 2019 at 08:50 PM
Arkancide? Epstein is linked with E Barak, and Nicole Junkermann, per flight logs. Presumably that is the intelligence link Acosta was babbling about. https://carbyne911.com/team/
turcopolier , 17 July 2019 at 03:36 PM
walrus

yes. I con't see him living much longer. On Morning joe today, Joe and his imbecile consort went on at length about a party in 1992 at Mar A Lago for a bunch of NFL cheerleaders. Trump, Epstein and other me stood around ogling the ladies. So what! Not a word was said about the absent Bill Clinton.

srw said in reply to turcopolier ... , 17 July 2019 at 04:10 PM
Doubt if Bubba Bill was involved in any of Epstein's sexual shenanigans after being burnt by Lewinsky. Clinton always had the proverbial ability to "talk a dog off a gut wagon" and could most likely find an agreeable partner elsewhere. Might be wrong but doubt it.
The Twisted Genius -> turcopolier ... , 17 July 2019 at 07:56 PM
Ogling NFL cheerleaders, big deal. That seemed pretty normal to me. I'm waiting for more to come out about the 1992 private party at Mar a Lago with Trump, Epstein and 28 calendar girls. I get the feeling Trump is going tweet crazy right now primarily to change the subject. With Trump, Clinton, the DOJ enablers who protected Epstein and probably a host of others, Epstein is bound to be whacked as you and walrus said.
akaPatience -> turcopolier ... , 17 July 2019 at 09:04 PM
Yes, the MSM are predictably silent about Bill Clinton and other leftists who are/were buddies with Epstein. I guess with all of his money, he could murder someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and...

"imbecile consort". THANK you, you made my day!

Rhondda , 17 July 2019 at 04:17 PM
If I understand correctly, Epstein broke the agreement. Would it follow that the WTF!? immunity deal is now nixed?

What a rotten underbelly oozes out. This foul beast needs to be wrestled into the light. Where is the people's champion? There must be some good people in there somewhere.

John Minnerath , 17 July 2019 at 05:47 PM
Crossing the Clinton cabal in any manner is seriously dangerous. The list of those who have and died mysteriously is very long.
Jack , 17 July 2019 at 07:30 PM
Robert

Thanks for your excellent write-up.

The sweetheart deal that Epstein received from Acosta and the DOJ seems rather unusual for the felony that is such a social taboo as you note. Not only did he get off extremely lightly but his co-conspirators were completely let off the hook. The way the children who were raped were also treated by the courts was also shameful.

This case epitomizes the travesty of the current state of the rule of law. Sexual predators of children are typically thrown the book and quickly taken off the streets to serve a long sentence. Not only did that not happen but even worse he was allowed to continue his despicable behavior out in the open even when he was supposed to be serving his sentence. Clearly he had some powerful friends in the Bush administration, but even with these connections when such execrable behavior is shown repeatedly there were none with a conscience. A sad testament to the state of our justice system.

Do you think the current case will also just be another white wash or do you think the DOJ will pursue the investigation with vigor to get to the bottom of his finances and all the other sexual predators of children in his orbit?

robt willmann , 17 July 2019 at 09:38 PM
Barbara Ann,

You are perceptive about the Epstein plea bargain / non-prosecution agreement (NPA). The one for Epstein is the complete opposite of what happens in federal criminal cases. Yes, agreements between the Justice Department and defendants are often used "to go after people further up the food chain". There will be a plea bargain with a cooperation section in it. If cooperation is not part of the arrangement, that section is left out.

They have a standard form they use for plea bargains, and some sections may be in or out of it depending on the situation. Classic examples are those that were used by "special counsel" Robert Mueller when he went around putting the squeeze on people. Here is the agreement between the Mueller group and Richard Gates, who was around Paul Manafort during the Trump campaign--

https://www.justice.gov/file/1038801/download

The usual plea agreement requires the defendant to plead guilty to some federal criminal offense. The Epstein agreement did not require him to plead to a federal crime. It also did not require him to debrief or provide them with information. To the contrary, it required that the federal government do nothing to him or to other people who helped him or conspired with him to commit federal crimes!

John Minehan , 17 July 2019 at 09:38 PM
I'm not a Trump supporter, but you have to say this for Trump: he banned Jeffery Epstein from his properties and made him PNG when Trump had complaints about the man's conduct on site.

[Jul 28, 2019] Epstein s Lolita Express Pilots Subpoenaed In Sex-Trafficking Investigation

Jul 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Jeffrey Epstein's longtime personal pilots have been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, according to the Wall Street Journal . The grand jury subpoenaes were served earlier this month following Epstein's July 6 arrest at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey on charges of sex-trafficking minors. He has pleaded not guilty to the yearslong scheme in which prosecutors allege the wealthy financier sexually abused dozens of young girls from 2002 to 2005, some of whom recruited other victims.

It is unknown how many of Epstein's pilots were subpoenaed, or whether they are cooperating witnesses. According to court documents from prior cases, Epstein employed David Rodgers, Larry Visoski, Larry Morrison and Bill Hammond as pilots and flight engineers. Rogers, Visoski and Morrison have previously testified in civil depositions.

Testimony from the pilots could be used by federal investigators in their efforts to corroborate accounts from Mr. Epstein's accusers. They could also provide detail on Mr. Epstein's travels and his associates. Some of the pilots were responsible for keeping flight logs of passengers who flew on Mr. Epstein's private jet, according to court filings. - Wall Street Journal

While prosecutors claimed that Epstein owns two private jets, the registered sex offender's attorneys said in a court filing earlier this month that he owns one private jet, and "sold the other jet in June 2019." Considering that he was arrested after returning from Paris in his Gulfstream G550, per Bloomberg , it suggests that Epstein sold his infamous and evidence-rich Boeing 272-200 known as the "Lolita Express" weeks before his arrest .

Women in civil lawsuits have accused Mr. Epstein of conspiring with his pilots and other associates from at least 1998 to 2002 to facilitate sex abuse and avoid law-enforcement detection . One woman has said in court filings that when she was a minor in 2000, Mr. Epstein transported her regularly on his private jet to be sexually exploited by his associates and friends . - Wall Street Journal

According to flight logs, former President Bill Clinton flew on the "Lolita Express" a total of 27 times . "Many of those times Clinton had his Secret Service with him and many times he did not," according to investigative journalist Conchita Sarnoff - who first revealed the former president's extensive flights on Epstein's "lolita express" in a 2010 Daily Beast exposé.

Via Radar Online

Clinton claimed in a statement earlier this month that he only took "a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein's airplane" in 2002 and 2003, and that Secret Service accompanied him at all times - which Sarnoff told Fox News was a total lie .

"I know from the pilot logs and these are pilot logs that you know were written by different pilots and at different times that Clinton went, he was a guest of Epstein's 27 times ," said Sarnoff.

Other famous guests include actor Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker, who flew with Clinton to Africa to tour HIV/AIDS project sites, according to New York Magazine in 2002, which notes how much Epstein revered the former president.

Lawyers for some of Epstein's accusers alleged in a 2015 court filing that flight logs provided by Epstein pilot Rodgers were incomplete, and that they will corroborate their accusations of being trafficked by Epstein and his associates when they were underage .

"It would not be surprising to find that some of these flight logs were likely designed to hide evidence of criminal activity -- or perhaps later cleansed of such evidence," wrote the lawyers.

Investigators may be interested in asking Mr. Epstein's pilots whether they witnessed any efforts by Mr. Epstein to interfere with law enforcement, according to legal experts. In recent court filings, prosecutors have accused Mr. Epstein of tampering with witnesses , an allegation that Mr. Epstein's lawyers denied in court.

Federal prosecutors in Miami and Mr. Epstein's lawyers in 2007 negotiated over the possibility of Mr. Epstein pleading guilty to obstruction of justice, including for an incident involving one of his pilots, according to emails that became public in civil lawsuits. - Wall Street Journal

Interestingly, prosecutors confirmed that there are " uncharged individuals " in Epstein's case. Aside from his close associate and Clinton pal Ghislaine Maxwell - his 'madam,' could the pilots be on that list?"

[Jul 27, 2019] Elizabeth Warren The woman who predicted last financial crisis is sounding alarm again by Ros Krasny

Notable quotes:
"... But Dean Baker, the co-founder of the liberal Centre for Economic and Policy Research, said that the increase in corporate debt has corresponded with higher profits and manageably low interest rates. "The idea that you're going to have this massive cascade of defaults - it's very hard to see," Baker said. ..."
"... Michael Madowitz, an economist at the Centre for American Progress, said that most predictions about recessions were wrong, not just those offered by politicians. ..."
"... But he interpreted Warren's essay as a broader warning about how Trump's efforts to support growth by curbing regulations and attacking government institutions might eventually be destructive ..."
"... With my total lack of understanding of world economics I predict a stock market crash sometime between May 2020 and October 2020 and a recession, including Australia (worse than the unofficial one we have really been in here in Australia for the last 10 years), over following few years. ..."
Jul 27, 2019 | smh.com.au

Elizabeth Warren became a household name thanks to her prescient warning of what became a global financial crisis. Now she's staking her credentials on another forecast of fiscal trauma ahead. The Democratic presidential candidate published an online essay this week saying that a rise in consumer and corporate debt is imperilling the longest expansion in US history.

"Whether it's this year or next year, the odds of another economic downturn are high - and growing," Warren wrote.

Her prediction could help her win over primary voters by tapping into anxieties about middle-class economic stability despite broad gains over the past decade. But Warren's opponents could seize on her warning to undermine her credibility should a crash fail to materialise before next year's election, and some economists sympathetic to her agenda say that - for the moment - her conclusion of a looming recession is overblown. Recessions are notoriously difficult to forecast. Warren first warned in 2003 about subprime mortgage lending, yet it was roughly five years later when the US housing market fully collapsed.

And although her dire forecast echoed in style some warnings made by Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, Warren hasn't aligned with him in portraying her potential election to the White House as the only way to avert disaster. "I went through this back in the years before the 2008 crash, and no one wanted to listen.

So, here we are again," Warren said on Capitol Hill last week. "I'm trying to point out where the warning signs are. I hope our regulators and Congress listen, make changes, and that the economy strengthens."

Even economists who like her prescription are skeptical about her diagnosis. Warren rooted her concerns about the economy in a Federal Reserve report that found a 6.8 per cent increase in household debt over the past decade, allowing the Massachusetts senator to write that American families are "taking on more debt than ever before." But that figure is not adjusted for inflation, nor is it adjusted for population growth - and the number of US households has risen by 9.5 per cent during the same period, meaning that Fed data also shows debt levels have fallen on a per capita basis.

"I don't see a huge bubble on the other side of household debt that is going to savage people's assets," said Josh Bivens, director of research at the liberal Economic Policy Institute. At the moment, families can afford their debt because of low interest rates, and that minimises the risks to the economy. American households are devoting less than 10 per cent of their disposable income to debt service, down from roughly 13 per cent in 2008, according to the Fed. This doesn't mean that Warren is wrong to conclude that families are burdened by student debt and childcare costs, just that data suggests the debt produced by those expenses is unlikely to cause a downturn.

Part of Warren's forecast hinges on a spike in interest rates that seems unlikely as most benchmark rates have declined since November. Warren has assembled a litany of proposals aimed at bringing down household debt, through student loan forgiveness and affordable childcare availability as well as a housing plan designed to lower rent costs. She touted her policy agenda - which has propelled her higher in the polls - as ways to avert her predicted crash.

Warren's warning of a downturn is a somewhat unique maneuver for a presidential candidate. Past White House hopefuls have waited for the downturns to start before capitalising on them. Bill Clinton won the presidency in 1992, for example, on a post-recession message summed up by then-adviser James Carville's edict to focus on "the economy, stupid."

Warren also warned this week that an increase in corporate borrowing could crush the economy.

But Dean Baker, the co-founder of the liberal Centre for Economic and Policy Research, said that the increase in corporate debt has corresponded with higher profits and manageably low interest rates. "The idea that you're going to have this massive cascade of defaults - it's very hard to see," Baker said.

Related Article Bumpy road ahead for US financial reforms

While the US economy may not be entering into a recession, many economic forecasters say growth is still slowing because of global and demographic pressures. Evidence of this has already caused Fed officials to signal that they plan to cut interest rates at their meeting next week. Trump has repeatedly called for the Fed to make even steeper cuts to improve his economic track record.

Michael Madowitz, an economist at the Centre for American Progress, said that most predictions about recessions were wrong, not just those offered by politicians.

But he interpreted Warren's essay as a broader warning about how Trump's efforts to support growth by curbing regulations and attacking government institutions might eventually be destructive. "It's hard to say what a debt-driven problem would look like until it happens," Madowitz said.

"I think it's also reasonable to elevate concern at the moment given how politicised Trump has made apolitical economic institutions like the Fed. That's not a free lunch. It creates real risks, so it's more important than usual to think about what happens if things go bump in the night."

AP Mick 8 hours ago

I really have no idea about economics - seriously the mechanics of world financing, where every country seems to in debt baffles me. But if you look at the last 40 years or so - my adult life - there seems to be a stock market crash about each 10 years and a recession in the USA about each 10 years. From memory, stock markets in 1987, 1997, 2008 (I suppose also dot com stuff in around 1999/2000 as well). Recessions in the US in early 90's, early 2000's, 2009 into 2010's.

With my total lack of understanding of world economics I predict a stock market crash sometime between May 2020 and October 2020 and a recession, including Australia (worse than the unofficial one we have really been in here in Australia for the last 10 years), over following few years.

I wonder how my predictions will stand up to the experts. Gillespie 8 hours ago No facts seem to be the hallmark of your post. "Warren first warned in 2003 about subprime mortgage lending" shshus 10 hours ago The incoming economic meltdown in a insanely indebted global ponzi scheme is a no brainer. Despite Trump's usual bombast, the US economy is hardly growing and manufacturing is already in recession. The lunatic policies of central banks to offer free money at almost zero interest rates has caused a greed based credit frenzy that is simply unsustainable. The coming economic collapse will be far worse as the trade wars between US and China and rest of the world will simply compound the problem. Australia is particularly vulnerable in both economic and strategic terms. Time to batten the hatches, rather than pile on more consumer debt.

[Jul 27, 2019] Russia interfered on a massive scale ($3,684 was spends on ads on which $1932 on promoting Trump) and is doing it again as we sit here! Just how massive? They spent $100,000 on clickbait ads from a company owned by a man who was in a photo with the evil mastermind!

Highly recommended!
Jul 27, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Glennn , July 26, 2019 at 12:16

Russia interfered on a massive scale and is doing it again as we sit here! Just how massive? They spent $100,000 on clickbait ads from a company owned by a man who was in a photo with the evil mastermind!

How evil? Well do the math. $43,000 to $46,000 of that was spent during the election and of those ads 8.4 percent were political. That's $3,684 dollars.

But the political ads were aimed in both directions so that's roughly $1,932 spent "promoting" Trump.

And now Mueller tells us the evil mastermind is at it again -- as we sit here -- probably spending even more this time. Let us know when he's spent a full thousand dollars Bob and we'll start loading the bombs.

Oh, and we found all this out for around thirty million dollars.

stephen kelley , July 25, 2019 at 22:34

think about it! with the myriad of problems we must contend with: growing social inequality, huge tax breaks for the rich, government deregulation of private business, a climate catastrophe, unending wars, nuclear annihilation spurred on especially by u.s. imperialism, the gutting of what little social safety net we have left and so on and so so on. and we are supposed to be outraged at supposed foreign interference with our supposed democratic process? please, this is total insanity!!!

John Wolfe , July 25, 2019 at 18:29

Of course, relatively speaking, it’s a nothing. Every knowledgeable person knows that we in the US orchestrated both the financing and the strategy of the 1996 Yeltsin campaign -- a political rescue so efficiently carried out that our operatives bragged brazenly about it to Time Magazine, which made it the cover story for its July 14, 1996 edition (“Yanks to the Rescue”).

The Lamestream Corporate media always underplayed the fact that Yeltsin ordered the execution of 1,100 demonstrators who protested the IMF backed “reforms”, and that Clinton approved of his deadly and heavy hand in implementing a neoliberal economic order. Clinton never threatened to suspend aid to the Russian Federation despite its numerous abuses of human rights.

Also forgotten is that Yeltsin ordered the Russian Parliament (Duma) shelled before it could vote on Yeltsin’s economic “reforms”, which were implemented at the point of a gun. At various times between 1993 and 1997, it was Yeltsin who declared martial law, suspended the Duma, and declared himself possessed of dictatorial powers.

How many Americans ever knew this? 20%? How many remember it today? Maybe 5%? That means there is no context for gauging Muellers’ testimony.

But, it is, by MSNBC standards, Vladimir Putin who is Evil Incarnate. Has Maddow ever mentioned Yeltsin, a tyrant of the first order? No, because at GE, Comcast, and NBC, tyranny in the name of enforcing neoliberalism is perfectly acceptable.

This post is a bit off topic, and is a bit relativistic, as I know we should be concerned if it is really true that Manafort was giving internal polling data to a Russian Federation person so that the IRA could better target swing states in our Midwest.

Bob Van Noy , July 26, 2019 at 08:26

John Wolfe, your comment is not off topic at all, it’s crucial to further understanding of the totality of the Russia did it mentality, and That is well documented in a small but powerful book called “Manifest Destiny: Democracy as Cognitive Dissonance” by F. William Engdahl which I will link.

The American People have been propagandized so thoroughly that they can hardly recognize the truth any longer.

Too, I will link an article in Off Guardian this morning that is worth mentioning if one wants to see Real Reporting On MH-17.

https://www.amazon.com/Manifest-Destiny-Democracy-Cognitive-Dissonance/dp/3981723732

And:

https://off-guardian.org/2019/07/26/mh17-call-for-justice/

[Jul 26, 2019] Meet The Former Epstein Sex Slave Who Helped Recruit Underage Girls For The Lolita Express

Notable quotes:
"... A reporter at Wired tried to look into Marcinko's past to parse whether she was a willing, or unwilling, participant in Epstein's crimes, and whether she was also one of his youngest victims. Some of Epstein's other victims told police that Marcinko pressured them to sleep with both her and Epstein. Though her history of flying with Epstein is harder to pin down due to Epstein's record-keeping practices (he only recorded the first names of underage girls in flight logs, if at all), but it's become clear that during her first decade in the country, from roughly 2000 to the beginning of Epstein's prison sentence, she frequently flew between Epstein's properties in New York, Palm Beach, Monterey, Columbus, Ohio and the Azores. A pilot who once worked for Epstein testified that she had flown with him hundreds of times. ..."
"... Marcinko's relationship with Epstein presumably ended when she was given immunity from prosecution in 2008 after being named an accomplice. It's still not entirely clear how she came to live with Epstein. Was she 'sold' to him by family members in Bratislava? Or did she run away with him willingly, hoping for a more glamorous life? ..."
"... Whatever happened, as Wired claims, Marcinko is part of a small group of people who are both victims of Epstein and possible abusers. ..."
Jul 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

While anybody even remotely familiar with the Epstein story knows that his actions were irredeemably heinous, there are other characters in Epstein's orbit - characters who may have participated in what appears to be a global sex-trafficking ring - who are more complicated.

One of those characters is a 32-year-old model named Nadia Marcinko. Marcinko, who was once described in court documents as Epstein's "in-house sex slave" was ferried out of Slovakia on Epstein's private jet when she was just 15, and lived with the billionaire for years after, Wired reports.

Now working as a commercial pilot, Marcinko is clearly hoping the media will gloss over her involvement with Epstein. She refuses to talk to reporters, and even uses a slightly modified version of her last name (she was once known as Nadia Marcinkova).

A reporter at Wired tried to look into Marcinko's past to parse whether she was a willing, or unwilling, participant in Epstein's crimes, and whether she was also one of his youngest victims. Some of Epstein's other victims told police that Marcinko pressured them to sleep with both her and Epstein. Though her history of flying with Epstein is harder to pin down due to Epstein's record-keeping practices (he only recorded the first names of underage girls in flight logs, if at all), but it's become clear that during her first decade in the country, from roughly 2000 to the beginning of Epstein's prison sentence, she frequently flew between Epstein's properties in New York, Palm Beach, Monterey, Columbus, Ohio and the Azores. A pilot who once worked for Epstein testified that she had flown with him hundreds of times.

Marcinko's relationship with Epstein presumably ended when she was given immunity from prosecution in 2008 after being named an accomplice. It's still not entirely clear how she came to live with Epstein. Was she 'sold' to him by family members in Bratislava? Or did she run away with him willingly, hoping for a more glamorous life?

Whatever happened, as Wired claims, Marcinko is part of a small group of people who are both victims of Epstein and possible abusers.

Her testimony could again be useful. That is, if she ultimately avoids being implicated as a 'rape facilitator'.


Ms No , 10 hours ago link

This type of adult behavior is really common among prior child sex victims, even younger than what they are stating here.

If children get sex instead of parenting and nurturing they equate sex with love and their only value. They later often turn into over sexualized 'desperate attention whores'. They could easily help abuse others to stay in the game for their desperation for attention validation.

This is probably the closest thing Epstein had to a mate. You can see that he cant bond with people, there is only sex, narcissism and objectifying. Business deal is as close as he gets.

Superlat , 11 hours ago link

WHat? Women can be abusers as well as victims? NO! THAT"S AN ILLEGAL THOUGHT!

CC713Techman , 11 hours ago link

Read the Wired article. She is portrayed as both not necessarily in that order. They theorize she may have been sold to JE or maybe he simply took her before eh engaged in recruitment and abuse herself. They conclude with:

"It's all too sad, and anyone who is said to have entered bondage at 15, and was forced to act as a sex slave, deserves much, much better."

One of the commenters at Wired caught this.

punchasocialist , 13 hours ago link

......................................................................... Hey Assholes!

I see distraction.

I see misdirection.

Cops have been busted running small time prostitution and gambling joints all over Boston and New York the last 10 years.

They have dirt on lots of the local politicians and money makers all across this Illegal Union of 57 States.

To me, this Epstein manufactured drama stage play is not stunning or even that interesting.

Give Me Some Truth , 12 hours ago link

I upvoted you for nailing what we have here, but disagree that this is "not stunning or even that interesting."

It IS stunning and is probably the "most interesting" story citizens could learn about.

Twisted, disturbing, depressing, bigger than most of us can grasp. How could such a story unfold/happen without it being "interesting?"

Ms No , 10 hours ago link

No its Mossad. His partner chick Maxwell's father even had an Mossad Israeli state funeral. Although the CIA is subservient to Mossad, so same thing in the end.

That's why the Israeli Mossad guys caught in Sept 11 were eventually released.

Moneycircus , 14 hours ago link

SJWs help make slavery pay. Feel good about it...

Australia has become the first country in the world to recognise so-called orphanage trafficking as a form of modern-day slavery.

The vast majority of children living in "orphanages" in developing nations are not true orphans. About 80% have a living parent or family .

Such institutions are often run for the profit of their owners. They are sustained by well-meaning western tourists who visit to donate or volunteer their time.

https://theglobepost.com/2018/12/14/australia-orphanage-trafficking-2/
https://bettercarenetwork.org/bcn-in-action/rethink-orphanages/latest-news/orphanage-tourism-slavery-hidden-in-plain-sight

... and then take selfies on their Slave Phones.

How Foxconn Is Making Slaves Out Of Interns
https://www.cultofmac.com/158241/how-foxconn-is-making-slaves-out-of-interns/

africoman , 14 hours ago link

Roy Cohn - The CIA Pedophile Ring Leader - An Evil Mechanism of Political Control

We have a very short summary this time, but the GTRP Diagram is the Value. In this post we look at the information available pertaining to Roy Cohn. We look at his relationships with Ronald Reagan, Rupert Murdoch, Nicaraguan Rebel propaganda. Cohn's leadership role in the Western Goals Foundation, Larry McDonald, and the Council for National Policy. Cohn's admitted role in CIA pedophile ring, referred to by some as Human Compromise operations. Cohn's pedophile network continued by Edwin Wilson's pedophile network uncovered and investigated by Sen. John DeCamp. Cohn law practice ties to Organized Crime and the Catholic Archdiocese of New York. Cohn's mentorship of bot...

Sexual Blackmail" "Pedophile Ring" "Roy Cohn and Rupert Murdoch" "Pizzagate" "John Podesta" "Iran-Contra" "Edwin Wilson" "Roger Stone" ( https://gtrpweb.com/featured_content )

Organized Pedophilia and the Criminal Exploitation of Children ...

CONFIDENTIAL REPORT ON ORGANIZED
PEDOPHILIA AND THE CRIMINAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN

By
JAMES M. ROTHSTEIN
RET. NYCPD DETECTIVE

The Ghost of Roy Cohn – Conspiracy Archive

"Historically, one of Wilson's Agency jobs was to subvert members of both houses [of Congress] by any means necessary . Certain people could be easily coerced by living out their sexual fantasies in the flesh . A remembrance of these occasions [was] permanently recorded via selected cameras . The technicians in charge of filming were TSD [Technical Services Division of the CIA]. The unwitting ***** stars advanced in their political careers, some of [whom] may still be in office." (Qtd. in DeCamp 179)

Homosexuality Roy Cohn

Where's My Roy Cohn? Digs into One of the 20th Century's Most Evil ...

Cohn also had a protégé of his own: a young, up-and-coming real-estate developer named Donald J. Trump. And though Trump and Cohn's relationship spanned from the early 1970s until a few months before Cohn's death, in 1986 (Trump abandoned his mentor as Cohn lay dying), there seemed to be a lot of information of contemporary significance contained within their bizarre partnership

Finally,

Aangirfan

THE CIA THE PEADO RING AND THE WHATS THE POINT!

EPSTEIN, TRUMP, KOSHER NOSTRA

Trump's Pedophiles>>> Trump has been linked to the Jewish Mafia and to Israel.

surf@jm , 14 hours ago link

This girl is all over the internet profiling her piloting of planes.........

Narcissism in a woman is twice as bad as in a man............

The story of Narcissus dates back to ancient Greece. It was said that this young man was the son of a nymph named Liriope, and the river deity and personification of the river, Cephissus. Narcissus was raised in Boeotia (a region in central Greece) and grew into an extremely handsome youth. However, he never found anyone he thought was as attractive as he was; he left a string of broken-hearted girls (and a few young men) everywhere he went.

until one day Narcissus happened to see his own reflection in the water. He had finally found someone he found truly attractive: himself. He tried to kiss the image, but only created a ripple in the water that hid the reflection. Obsessed with his love for his own image, but never able to touch it, he wasted away and eventually died of hunger and thirst.

frankthecrank , 13 hours ago link

The term and the Greek story are not connected. Narcs actually hate themselves deep down and tend to only associate with those who either make them look good or they can dominate.

Pro_sanity , 15 hours ago link

A nitro story, and from what seems already apparent, one of breathtaking dimension. This would be the swamp dam break. The scumbags who would go down ... limited only by one's imagination. True justice in this case would be the correction the U.S. needs to really get back to greatness. It would be the story of our times ... for the ages.

Any networks covering this? Are the masses being informed? Does the guy sitting next to you, standing behind you, mowing your lawn, stocking the shelves .... do they know who Epstein is? Nope, and the story is getting buried.

NOTHING WILL COME OF THIS ... ******* DISGRACE

Old White Guy , 15 hours ago link

If the Clintons have the most to lose over a thorough investigation of Epstein's sexual abuse of minors then Epstein does not have long. People posing a threat to Team Clinton usually have accidents and disappear. This is going to get much uglier for swamp dwellers.

dogismycopilot , 16 hours ago link

the blonde is the perp.

she liked being outfitted with a strap on.

the case file on this reads like a BDM journal.

June 12 1776 , 16 hours ago link

Sure does;

"Epstein also made E.W. perform oral sex on him and was to perform sex acts on Nadia Marcinkova [pictured above, on right] (Epstein's live-in sex slave) in Epstein's presence."

Case 09-34791-RBR Doc 1603-3 Filed 04/08/11 Page 7 of 39

https://archive.org/stream/ECFDOC160310567451/ECF_DOC_1603_10567451_djvu.txt

"made to perform sex acts on Nadia Marcinkova [pictured above, on right] in Epstein's presence".

Case 09-34791-RBR Doc 1603-3 Filed 04/08/11 Page 8 of 39

https://archive.org/stream/ECFDOC160310567451/ECF_DOC_1603_10567451_djvu.txt

the Palm Beach Police Department also began investigating Epstein's sexual abuse of minor girls. They also collected evidence of Epstein's involvement with minor girls and his obsession with training sex slaves, including pulling information from Epstein's trash. Their investigation showed that Epstein ordered from Amazon.com on about September 4, 2005, such books as: SMI 01: A Realistic Introduction, by Jay Wiseman; SlaveCraft: Roadmaps for Erotic Servitude - Principles, Skills, and Tools, by Guy Baldwin; and Training with Miss Abernathy: A Workbook for Erotic Slaves and Their Owners, by Christina Abernathy. See Receipt for Sex Slave Books (Exhibit "I")

Case 09-34791 -RBR Doc 1 603-3 Filed 04/08/1 1 Page 1 1 of 39

https://archive.org/stream/ECFDOC160310567451/ECF_DOC_1603_10567451_djvu.txt

further, how "convenient" the synchronicity as the Virgin Islands have just been hit this week with a MOSSAD CIA MI6 FSB bleach bit "ransom ware" "hack" huh huh.

[Jul 24, 2019] Facebook Mark Zuckerberg's Fake Accounts Ponzi Scheme naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... Would it have helped to separate Madoff Securities LLC into one company per floor, or split up Enron by division? Probably not, but talking about it is Facebook's dream come true. Because the question we should really be discussing is "How many years should Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg ultimately serve in prison?" ..."
Jul 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Facebook now has a market capitalization approaching $600 billion, making it nominally one of the most valuable companies on earth. It's a true business miracle: a company that was out of users in 2012 managed to find a wellspring of nearly infinite and sustained growth that has lasted it, so far, half of the way through 2019.

So what is that magical ingredient, that secret sauce, that " genius " trade secret, that turned an over-funded money-losing startup into one of America's greatest business success stories? It's one that Bernie Madoff would recognize instantly: fraud, in the form of fake accounts.

Old money goes out, and new money comes in to replace it. That's how a traditional Ponzi scheme works. Madoff kept his going for decades, managing to attain the rank of Chairman of the NASDAQ while he was at it.

Zuckerberg's version is slightly different, but only slightly: old users leave after getting bored, disgusted and distrustful, and new users come in to replace them. Except that as Mark's friend and lieutenant, Sam Lessin told us, the "new users" part of the equation was already getting to be a problem in 2012. On October 26, Lessin, wrote, "we are running out of humans (and have run-out of valuable humans from an advertiser perspective)." At the time, it was far from clear that Facebook even had a viable business model, and according to Frontline , Sheryl Sandberg was panicking due to the company's poor revenue numbers.

To balance it out and keep "growth" on the rise, all Facebook had to do was turn a blind eye. And did it ever.

In Singer v. Facebook, Inc . -- a lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California alleging that Facebook has been telling advertisers that it can "reach" more people than actually exist in basically every major metropolitan area -- the plaintiffs quote former Facebook employees, understandably identified only as Confidential Witnesses, as stating that Facebook' s "Potential Reach" statistic was a "made-up PR number" and " fluff. " Also, that "those who were responsible for ensuring the accuracy 'did not give a shit.'" Another individual, "a former Operations Contractor with Facebook, stated that Facebook was not concerned with stopping duplicate or fake accounts."

That's probably because according to its last investor slide deck and basic subtraction, Facebook is not growing anymore in the United States, with zero million new accounts in Q1 2019, and only four million new accounts since Q1 2017. That leaves the rest of the world, where Facebook is growing fastest "in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines," according to Facebook CFO David Wehner.

Wehner didn't mention the fine print on page 18 of the slide deck, which highlights the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam as countries where there are "meaningfully higher" percentages of, and " episodic spikes " in, fake accounts. In other words, Facebook is growing the fastest in the locations worldwide where one finds the most fraud. In other other words, Facebook isn't growing anymore at all -- it 's shrinking. Even India, Indonesia and the Philippines don't register as many searches for Facebook as they used to. Many of the "new" users on Instagram are actually old users from the core platform looking to escape the deluge of fakery.

The last time Mark suggested that Facebook's growth heyday might be behind it, in July 2018, the stock took a nosedive that ended up being the single largest one-day fall of any company's stock in the history of the United States. In about an hour, it plunged 20% from around $220 per share to about $165. Needless to day, the loss of about $120 billion in market capitalization in an hour provided a sufficient disincentive for Mark to avoid a repeat performance.

Having narrowly escaped the ire of Wall Street, Mark knows he cannot get off the growth treadmill he set in motion years ago. The only solution: lying to investors about growth in an attempt to convince them that everything is fine.

Yet signs that Mark's fake account problem is no different than Madoff's fake account statement problem are everywhere. Google Trends shows worldwide " Facebook " queries down 80% from their November 2012 peak. (Instagram doesn't even come close to making up for the loss.) Mobile metrics measuring use of the Facebook mobile app are down.

And the company's own disclosures about fake accounts stand out mostly for their internal inconsistency -- one set of numbers, measured in percentages, is disclosed to the SEC, while another, with absolute figures, appears on its " transparency portal. " While they reveal a problem escalating at an alarming rate and are constantly being revised upward -- Facebook claims that false accounts are at 5% and duplicate accounts at 11%, up from 1% and 6% respectively in Q2 2017 -- they don't measure quite the same things, and are impossible to reconcile . At the end of 2017, Facebook decided to stop releasing those percentages on a quarterly basis, opting for an annual basis instead. Out of sight, out of mind.

One could argue that SEC disclosures are subject to strict regulations under the Securities Exchange Act and that Facebook would never be so bold as to lie to investors in black and white. That's true: it qualifies its fake account disclosures with the quizzical legal phrase " significant judgment " and it chose the color orange instead of black (insert Netflix joke here) for its transparency portal graph disclaimers that read, "These metrics are in development." And one could further argue that the transparency portal metrics are reviewed by a team of academics, known as the Data Transparency Advisory Group (DTAG), who are supposed to vouch for their validity. But the DTAG academics -- not one of whom is a statistician, despite Facebook's direct claim to the contrary, now erased -- fully admit that they are paid by Facebook, and even after months of hard work, their final report released in April mentioned fake accounts only three times, and all three were in passing. On the accuracy or validity of Facebook's fake account numbers, the DTAG oddly had absolutely nothing to say.

What Facebook does say is this : its measurements, the ones subject to "significant judgment," are taken from an undisclosed "limited sample of accounts." How limited? That doesn't matter, because "[w]e believe fake accounts are measured correctly within the limitations to our measurement systems" and "reporting fake accounts may be a bad way to look at things."

And how many fake accounts did Facebook report being created in Q2 2019? Only 2.2 billion, with a " B, " which is approximately the same as the number of active users Facebook would like us to believe that it has.

A comprehensive look back at Facebook's disclosures suggests that of the company's 12 billion total accounts ever created, about 10 billion are fake. And as many as 1 billion are probably active , if not more. (Facebook says that this estimate is "not based on any facts," but much like the false statistics it provided to advertisers on video viewership, that too is a lie.)

So, fake accounts may be a bad way to look at things, as Facebook suggests -- or they may be the key to the largest corporate fraud in history.

Advertisers pay Facebook on the assumption that the people viewing and clicking their ads are real. But that's often not the case. Facebook has absolutely no incentive to solve the problem, it's already in court over it, and its former employees are talking. From Mark's vantage point, it's raining free money. All he has to do to get advertisers to spend is convince the world that Facebook is huge and it's only getting huger.

No one in the media, let alone Congress, dares to ask potentially embarrassing questions, and few understand the minutiae of real-time pricing auctions, cookies and user disambiguation anyway. Everyone would rather talk about the company's dedication to " innovation " and the laughably remote chance that Libra, a needlessly complex pseudo-cryptocurrency system will disrupt central banking. In fact, Libra is best described as Facebook's Business Model Plan C (Plan A having been "no privacy at all" and Plan B being "encrypt everything"), which may actually be necessary as the scheme is starting to unravel.

Mark is smart, but he's never been smart enough to listen to those with experience. Instead, he has prioritized growth at any cost, pulling all of the control rods out of the reactor to achieve it, and now that those costs have caught up with him -- namely, genocide, a role in putting a fascist, white supremacist in the White House, and severe reputational damage -- he literally has no idea what to do. His usual go-to acronyms -- VR? AI? -- aren 't quite cutting it, and much like Chernobyl, the resulting fallout is everywhere, impossible to clean up, and there are dead bodies on the ground. Even his co-founder and former roommate can't fully support him anymore, though Chris Hughes did still obsequiously refer to Mark as a "good, kind person" engaged in "nothing more nefarious than the virtuous hustle of a talented entrepreneur."

That's obviously false. Mark is not a good, kind person, as I have written for years . The only hustle he is engaged in is the usual kind: the fraudulent kind. And if I'm wrong about any or all of this, and Facebook releases the data and methodology it is using to reach the conclusions that it has about the strength of its platform, then I will gladly admit that I'm wrong.

But I'm not wrong. Facebook is a real product, but like Enron, it's also a scam, now the largest corporate scandal ever. It won't release its data about the 2016 election, about fake accounts, or about anything material -- and because Mark knows it's a scam, he won't agree to testify before the British parliament in a way that could require him to actually answer any substantive questions, as I did in June . And because Facebook is also a component of the S&P 500, countless people have an incentive to maintain the status quo.

So should we break up the tech companies and Facebook in particular? It's already a campaign issue for the next presidential election. Elizabeth Warren says yes. Beto O'Rourke wants "stronger regulations." Kamala Harris would rather talk about privacy. Everyone else -- even Donald Trump -- generally agrees that something needs to be done. Yet the unspoken issue at the center of it all remains: Mark is running a Ponzi scheme, but Wall Street, Congress, the Federal Trade Commission, the think tanks, and their associates haven't figured it out.

At this point it should come as no surprise to anyone paying attention that Mark is a bad-faith actor. He has no appreciation for the rule of law, or the role of a free press, and he has a dangerous tendency to view himself as infallible. After discovering a gaping security flaw in his product that revealed bulk information about friends of friends, exactly like Cambridge Analytica, I warned Mark in writing about the way his sloppy code would inevitably lead him to cross paths with the FTC and cause massive privacy and security concerns -- in April 2005 . His response: problems with the " Mark Zuckerberg production " were actually someone else's responsibility and "not worth arguing about."

Clearly, Mark can no longer argue that his decisions as Facebook's CEO are immaterial ( though he has tried ). Many have already lost their lives, whether through avoidable suicides or avoidable genocidal acts in Myanmar, due to his string of increasingly tone-deaf and spectacularly dishonest decisions.

Now, fifteen years and approximately as many false apologizes after my classmate started a grand social experiment that first captivated the media, then locked it in a profitless box, and then played a major supporting role in bringing fascism to America, the general consensus is that the best way to handle Mark and his tech brethren is through the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. But the consensus is wrong, based on a mountain of misapprehensions.

In a nutshell, the argument in favor of anti-trust action is that in the midst of the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, it's the Progressive Era all over again. A recent New York Times op-ed penned by Mark's co-founder, Chris Hughes, made essentially this point, relying heavily on input from the Roosevelt Institute. The Open Markets Institute agrees. In a talk at Harvard Law School, Matt Stoller argued that Facebook, Google and Amazon were " born as monopolists ."

It's a compelling story, so long as one is willing to ignore the reality on the ground. For one thing, software products are not railroads, which require significant physical capital and labor to establish. Were he determined to do so, it would take Mark a few weeks to re-build Instagram and WhatsApp, and there really isn't any way the government could stop him. For another, I know that on this particular issue, Stoller is incorrect, because I was there when The Facebook was born on my hard drive on September 19, 2003, in Lowell House. It hardly resembled a monopoly. Monopolies are what happen as the result of prolonged neglect by law enforcement. They're not born; they're nourished by years and years of perverse incentives.

The biggest problem with treating Facebook as a monopoly, as opposed to the byproduct of what Jesse Eisenger calls "The Chickenshit Club," is that it wrongly affirms Mark's infallibility and fails to see through him and his scheme, let alone the reality that he's not even in control anymore because no one is.

Would it have helped to separate Madoff Securities LLC into one company per floor, or split up Enron by division? Probably not, but talking about it is Facebook's dream come true. Because the question we should really be discussing is "How many years should Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg ultimately serve in prison?"

_____

1 Aaron Greenspan is short Facebook stock. Think Computer Foundation made a donation to Aurora Advisors Incorporated as part of its 2016 Naked Capitalism fundraiser.

[Jul 24, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Seeks to Cut Private Equity Down to Size

Highly recommended!
That bill alone makes Warren a viable candidate again, despite all her previous blunders. She is a courageous woman, that Warren. And she might wipe the floor with the completely subservant to Israel lobby Trump. Who betrayed his electorate in all major promises.
Notable quotes:
"... Not only would Warren's legislation prohibit some of the most destructive private equity activities, but it would end their ability to act as traditional asset managers, taking fees and incurring close to no risk if their investments go belly up. The bill takes the explicit and radical view that: ..."
"... Private funds should have a stake in the outcome of their investments, enjoying returns if those investments are successful but ab-1sorbing losses if those investments fail. ..."
"... Critics will say that Warren's bill has no chance of passing, which is currently true but misses the point. ..."
"... firms would share responsibility for the liabilities of companies under their control, including debt, legal judgments, and pension obligations to "better align the incentives of private equity firms and the companies they own." The bill, if enacted, would end the tax subsidy for excessive leverage and closes the carried interest loophole. ..."
"... The bill also seeks to ban dividends to investors for two years after a firm is acquired. Worker pay would be prioritized in the bankruptcy process, with guidelines intended to ensure affected employees are more likely to receive severance pay and pensions. It would also clarify gift cards are consumer deposits, ensuring their priority in bankruptcy proceedings. If enacted, private equity managers will be required to disclose fees, returns, and political expenditures. ..."
"... This is a bold set of proposals that targets abuses that hurt workers and investors. Most readers may not appreciate the significance of the two-year restriction on dividends. One return-goosing strategy that often leaves companies crippled or bankrupt in its wake is the "dividend recap" in which the acquired company takes on yet more debt for the purpose of paying a special dividend to its investors. Another strategy that Appelbaum and Batt have discussed at length is the "op co/prop co." Here the new owners take real estate owned by the company, sell it to a new entity with the former owner leasing it. The leases are typically set high so as to allow for the "prop co" to be sold at a richer price. This strategy is often a direct contributor to the death of businesses, since ones that own their real estate usually do so because they are in cyclical industries, and not having lease payments enables the to ride out bad times. The proceeds of sale of the real estate is usually dividended out to the investors, hence the dividend restriction would also pour cold water on this approach. ..."
"... However, there is precedent in private equity for recognizing joint and several liability of an investment fund for the obligations of its portfolio companies. In a case that winded its way through the federal courts until last year ( Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Indus. Pension Fund ), the federal court held that Sun Capital Partners III was liable under ERISA, the federal pension law, for the unfunded pension obligations of Scott Brass, a portfolio company of that fund. The court's key finding was that Sun Capital played an active management role in Scott Brass and that its claim of passive investor status therefore should not be respected. ..."
"... Needless to say, private equity firms have worked hard to minimize their exposure to the Sun Capital decision, for example by avoiding purchasing companies with defined benefit pension plans. The Warren bill, however, is so broad in the sweep of liability it imposes that PE firms would be unlikely to be able to structure around it. It is hard to imagine the investors in private equity funds accepting liability for what could be enormous sums of unfunded pension liabilities ultimately flowing onto them. Either they would have to set up shell companies to fund their PE investments that could absorb the potential liability, or they would have to give up on the asset class. Either way, it would mean big changes to the industry and potentially a major contraction of it. ..."
"... I am surprised that Warren sought to make private equity funds responsible for the portfolio company debts by "joint and several liability". You can get to economically pretty much the same end by requiring the general partner and potentially also key employees to guarantee the debt and by preventing them from assigning or buying insurance to protect the guarantor from being liable. There is ample precedent for that for entrepreneurs. Small business corporate credit cards and nearly all small business loans require a personal guarantee. ..."
"... Warren's bill also has strong pro-investor provisions. It takes on the biggest feature of the ongoing investor scamming, which is the failure of PE managers to disclose to the investors all of the fees they receive from portfolio companies. The solution proposed by the bill to this problem is exceedingly straightforward, basically proclaiming, "Oh yeah, now you will have to disclose that." The bill also abolishes the ability of private equity managers to claim long term capital gains treatment on the 20 percent of fund profits that they receive, which is unrelated to the return on any capital that the private equity managers may happen to invest in a fund. ..."
"... We need a reparations movement for all those workers harmed by private equity. Seriously. ..."
"... It's so nice to see someone taking steps to protect the rights and compensation of the people actually doing the work at the companies and putting their interests first in case of bankruptcy. That those who worked hardest to make the company succeed were somehow the ones who took it in the shorts the worst has always struck me as a glaring inequity bordering on cruelty. ..."
Jul 23, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Elizabeth Warren's Stop Wall Street Looting Act , which is co-sponsored by Tammy Baldwin, Sherrod Brown, Mark Pocan and Pramila Jayapal, seeks to fundamentally alter the way private equity firms operate. While the likely impetus for Warren's bill was the spate of private-equity-induced retail bankruptcies, with Toys 'R' Us particularly prominent, the bill addresses all the areas targeted by critics of private equity: how it hurts workers and investors and short-changes the tax man, thus burdening taxpayers generally.

... ... ...

[Jul 22, 2019] I found out that the average dollar that actually was invested abroad by oil companies was recaptured by the US economy within 18 months. The payback period was that fast.

Notable quotes:
"... I thought all these foreign countries were international." He explained that "international" means countries that are not really countries. They're Liberia and Panama, countries that only use the US dollar, not their own currency. So the oil industry doesn't have a currency risk. They are flags of convenience and they don't have any income tax. ..."
"... He explained to me that Standard Oil sold its oil at a very low price from the Near East to Liberia or Panama or Lagos, or wherever they have a flag of convenience and no income tax. Then they would sell it at a very high price to its refineries in Europe and America, at such a high price that these "downstream" affiliates don't make any income. So there's no tax to pay. ..."
"... Standard Oil and other U.S. oil companies – and also mining companies – don't earn an income there, because they sell it so low, all the profits are reported to be taken in Liberia or Panama. These are non-countries. ..."
"... Here is a report. I'm from the State Department (I assumed that this meant CIA). "We want to calculate how much money the US could get if we set up bank branches and became the bank for all the criminal capital in the world." He said, "We figured out we can finance, (and he said this in an elevator), we can finance the Vietnam War with all the drug money coming into America, all of the criminal money. Can you make a calculation of how much that might be?" ..."
"... I found that the entire US balance of payments deficit in the 1960s, since the Vietnam War, the entire balance of payments deficit was military spending abroad. The private sector's trade and investment was exactly in balance; tourism, trade and investment were exactly in balance. All the deficit was military. ..."
"... Mr. Barsanti said that McNamara said that Arthur Andersen would never get another government contract if it published my report. ..."
"... There were three people, known as the Columbia Group, saying the Vietnam War was going to destroy the American monetary system as we know it. The group was composed of Terence McCarthy, my mentor; Seymour Melman, a professor at Columbia University's School of Industrial Engineering where Terence also taught; and myself. We would basically go around the New York City giving speeches. ..."
Jul 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

mauisurfer , July 21, 2019 at 6:33 pm

Re: Michael Hudson, SuperImperialism

Here is a recent interview where MH reviews his book.

https://michael-hudson.com/2019/06/food-blackmail-the-washington-consensus-and-freedom/

And here is a wonderful autobiographical article

https://michael-hudson.com/2018/08/life-thought-an-autobiography/

a quote (hope it is not too long for you)

I worked at Chase Manhattan until 1967, then finally I had to quit to finish the dissertation. I spent a year on that. At Chase I had become the specialist in the oil industry's balance of payments. When the Vietnam War began and escalated, President Johnson in January 1965, right after I joined the bank in December 1964, passed the voluntary – in reality, compulsory – foreign investment rules blocking American companies from investing more than 5% of the growth of the previous year's investment. The oil industry objected to that. They came to David Rockefeller and said we've got to convince the government that we're ripping off other countries so fast, we're able to exploit them so rapidly, that it really helps the US balance of payments to let us continue investing more abroad. Can you help us show this statistically?

So David Rockefeller asked me to do a study of the balance of payments of the oil industry. Rockefeller said, "We don't want to have Chase's oil and gas department do it, because they would be thought of as lobbyists. Nobody knows who you are, so you're neutral. We want to know what the real facts are, and if they're what we think they are, we'll publish what you write; if we don't like it we'll keep it to ourselves, but please just give us the facts." He said, "You can ask the oil companies all the questions you want. They will fill out the forms you design for a statistical accounting format. We'll give you a year to write it all up." To me this was wonderful. Oil was the key sector internationally. It turned out I found out that the average dollar that actually was invested abroad by oil companies was recaptured by the US economy within 18 months. The payback period was that fast.

The report that I wrote was put on the desk of every senator and every representative in the United States and I was celebrated for being the economist of the oil industry. So this taught me everything about the balance of payments which, as I said, is a topic that's not taught in any university. So I finished that, finished the dissertation, and then I developed a methodology for the overall US balance of payments. Most of the balance of payment statistics were changed when they designed the gross national product accounts. The accounts now treat exports and imports as if they were paid for fully for cash. So if you make a million dollars worth of grain exports, you are assumed to bring a million dollars into the economy. And if you export a million dollars of arms, of military, it all comes back.

What I found out is that only a portion actually of exports actually comes back. And imports have an even lower balance-of-payment costs as compared to their nominal valuation. For instance, all of America's oil imports are from American oil companies, so if you pay a hundred dollars for oil, maybe thirty dollars of that is profit, thirty dollars is compensation to American management, thirty dollars is the use of American exports to physical equipment, oil drilling equipment and others to produce the oil.

The closest people that I worked with for the study were at the Standard Oil Company, which was always very close to the Rockefellers, as you know. So I went over the statistics and I said, "In the balance of payments, I can't find where Standard Oil makes the profit. Does it make the profit by producing oil at the production end? Or does it make it selling it at the gas stations, at the retail sales end?" The treasurer of Standard Oil said, "Ah I can tell you where we make them. We make them right here in my office." I asked how. "What countries could I find this in? I don't find it in Europe, I don't find it in Asia, I don't find it in Latin America or Africa." He said, "Ah, do you see at the very end of the geography headings for international earnings, there's something called international?"

I said, "Yes that always confused me. Where is it? I thought all these foreign countries were international." He explained that "international" means countries that are not really countries. They're Liberia and Panama, countries that only use the US dollar, not their own currency. So the oil industry doesn't have a currency risk. They are flags of convenience and they don't have any income tax.

He explained to me that Standard Oil sold its oil at a very low price from the Near East to Liberia or Panama or Lagos, or wherever they have a flag of convenience and no income tax. Then they would sell it at a very high price to its refineries in Europe and America, at such a high price that these "downstream" affiliates don't make any income. So there's no tax to pay. For all US oil investment in Europe, there's no tax to pay because the oil companies' accountants price it so high, and pay so little per barrel to third world countries such as Saudi Arabia, that they only get a royalty. Standard Oil and other U.S. oil companies – and also mining companies – don't earn an income there, because they sell it so low, all the profits are reported to be taken in Liberia or Panama. These are non-countries.

That gave me the clue about what people these days talk about money laundering. In the last few months that I worked for Chase Manhattan in 1967, I was going up to my office on the ninth floor and a man got on the elevator and said, "I was just coming to your office, Michael. Here is a report. I'm from the State Department (I assumed that this meant CIA). "We want to calculate how much money the US could get if we set up bank branches and became the bank for all the criminal capital in the world." He said, "We figured out we can finance, (and he said this in an elevator), we can finance the Vietnam War with all the drug money coming into America, all of the criminal money. Can you make a calculation of how much that might be?"

So I spent three months figuring out how much money goes to Switzerland, from drug dealings, what's the dollar volume of drug dealings. They helped me with all sorts of statistics on that, and said, "We can become the criminal capital of the world and it'll finance the dollar and this will enable us to afford the spending to defeat communism in Vietnam and elsewhere. If we don't do that, the bomb throwers will come to New York."

So I became a specialist in money laundering! Nothing could have better prepared me to understand how the global economy works! I had all the statistics, I had the help of the government people explaining to me how the CIA worked with drug dealing and other criminals and kidnappers to raise the money so it would be off the balance sheet funding and Congress didn't have to approve it when they would kill people and sponsor revolutions. They were completely open with me about this. I realized they'd never done a security check on me.

So I wanted to do a study of the balance of payments of the whole United States. I went to work for Arthur Andersen, which was at that time was one of the Big Five accounting firms in the United States. Later it was convicted of fraud when it got involved in the Enron scandal and was closed down. But I was working before the other people went to jail, before they closed down Arthur Andersen. So I spent a year applying my balance of payments analysis to the US balance of payments. When I finally finished, I found that the entire US balance of payments deficit in the 1960s, since the Vietnam War, the entire balance of payments deficit was military spending abroad. The private sector's trade and investment was exactly in balance; tourism, trade and investment were exactly in balance. All the deficit was military.

So I turned in my statistics. My boss Mr. Barsanti, came in to me three days later and he said, "I'm afraid we have to fire you." I asked, "What happened?" He said, "Well, we sent it to Robert McNamara." (who was the Secretary of Defense and then became an even more dangerous person with the World Bank, which probably is more dangerous to the world than the American military. But that's another story). Mr. Barsanti said that McNamara said that Arthur Andersen would never get another government contract if it published my report.

In all of the Pentagon Papers that later came out of McNamara's regime, there's no discussion at all of the balance-of-payments cost of the Vietnam War. This is what was driving America off gold. At Chase Manhattan from 1964 until I left, every Friday the Federal Reserve would come out with its goal, its weekly statistics. We could trace the gold stock. Everybody was talking about General de Gaulle cashing in the gold, because Vietnam was a French colony and the American soldiers and army would have to use French banks, the dollars would go to France and de Gaulle would cash it in for gold.

Well, Germany actually was cashing in more gold than de Gaulle, but they didn't make speeches about it. So I could see that the war spending was going to drive America off gold. There were three people, known as the Columbia Group, saying the Vietnam War was going to destroy the American monetary system as we know it. The group was composed of Terence McCarthy, my mentor; Seymour Melman, a professor at Columbia University's School of Industrial Engineering where Terence also taught; and myself. We would basically go around the New York City giving speeches.

[Jul 20, 2019] Warren's Weaknesses

Jul 20, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Take yer pick. These and more are linked all over the innertubes and growing in number and breath of issues everyday:

Why the Differences Between Sanders and Warren Matter https://jacobinmag.com/2019/01/elizabeth-warren-bernie-sanders-socialism...

That Time Warren Cheered Trump. Well, this was disappointing... Elizabeth Warren stands up and applauds Trump's promise that "America will never be a socialist country." https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=416898935744430

Elizabeth Warren hates money in politics, keeps taking campaign donations from rich lobbyists and corporate executives https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/elizabeth-warren-hates-money-...

Elizabeth Warren ripped Joe Biden's big Philly fund-raiser. Last year, she did an event with some of the same rich donors. https://www.inquirer.com/news/elizabeth-warren-joe-biden-presidential-fu...

Leftover PAC money funneled into Warren's campaign https://www.gloucestertimes.com/election/leftover-pac-money-funneled-int...

Elizabeth Warren's 'big money' rejection doesn't apply to general https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/feb/26/elizabeth-warrens-big-m...

Elizabeth Warren's Campaign Turned To A Big Donor To Pay For The DNC Voter Database, Despite Her Fundraising Pledge https://www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/rubycramer/elizabeth-warren-fundrai...

Warren has a plan for Wall Street -- and Wall Street isn't panicking https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/18/elizabeth-warren-wall-street-e...

Why Wall Street prefers Warren to Sanders https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-money/2019/07/18/why-wall-s...

Elizabeth Warren on Bernie Sanders: "He's a socialist, and I believe in markets." https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/rubycramer/elizabeth-warren-bernie-...

Elizabeth Warren decided to specifically stand up and applaud Trump when he said "America will never be a socialist country." https://twitter.com/HammerMtPress/status/1094369068063358976 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6B_MYpByUs&feature=youtu.be&t=3753

snoopydawg on Fri, 07/19/2019 - 5:06pm

[Jul 19, 2019] Over a dozen years ago, Russo published a pair of massive volumes on the history of organized crime focused on two particular regions, with The Outfit in 2001 discussing Chicago and Supermob in 2006 dealing with California.

Jul 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

aye, myself & me , Jul 19 2019 8:22 utc | 100

Has anyone else read this article over at Unz, by their editor and chief?
http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-the-power-of-organized-crime/

"Given that organized crime had apparently played a far greater national role in twentieth century American history than I had realized from my readings of mainstream newspapers and magazines, I recently decided to expand my knowledge in that area. Someone brought to my attention the work of investigative journalist Gus Russo, a prominent author on that topic. Russo had worked as a lead reporter for the award-winning PBS Frontline series and filled similar roles at other television networks, while being nominated for a 1998 Pulitzer Prize for his book on the JFK-Mafia alliance against Castro."

"Over a dozen years ago, Russo published a pair of massive volumes on the history of organized crime focused on two particular regions, with The Outfit in 2001 discussing Chicago and Supermob in 2006 dealing with California. Taken together these two works of deep investigative research run more than 1100 pages and over a half million words, apparently dwarfing almost anything else in that subject area. By the 1990s declassification of a vast quantity of government documents, including FBI wiretaps and Congressional files, allowed Russo access to this previously unavailable material. He supplemented this crucial archival research with the secondary source material contained in hundreds of books and articles, as well as more than 200 personal interviews, and his especially extensive second volume references this wealth of source material with more than 1500 footnotes. The numerous laudatory cover-blurbs by prominent prosecutors, former law enforcement agents, and experts on organized crime strongly attest to the credibility of his research, which certainly must have absorbed many years of concentrated effort."

Sure explains a lot to me how we wound up with thugs like Bolton and Pompeo. We have separation of church and state, who knew we needed separation of state and organized crime too?

[Jul 17, 2019] Note on the level of corruption of the USA justice system in the initial Epstein case

Clinton was involved is not he? So was it Clinton who advised Mueller to list Epstein as an intelligence asset.
Notable quotes:
"... As a sex trafficking survivor and advocate for others caught up in the traps set for us (sex trafficking is sexual activity instigated through fraud, force, and/or coercion) most of us would point to the privileged and fraudulent deal Epstein got as a reason to logically have zero trust in the Lord and social process. ..."
"... he trick Epstein and his lawyers used was to twist the narrative - fraudulently procured women engaged in an act of prostitution - viola - the act of prostitution (even through fraud my friends) has socially conferd the identity of prostitute.... ..."
"... This twisted reframing of identity for the exploitation of Epstein legal team was yet another crime. Then, third hit was not informing victims - how was this justice. I want to believe. ..."
"... So much truly disgusting, criminal, evil behavior. Acosta catered to a pedophile while he threw the child victims under the bus. He should be behind bars as an accomplice. A president whose "modeling" agency served as a model for Epstein's "modeling" agency. ..."
Jul 17, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

Denise Brooklyn, NY July 8 Times Pick

Re: the deal that Acosta cut. According to a February 2017 NYT article, "...As part of the agreement, Mr. Acosta's office agreed not to bring federal charges against Mr. Epstein or any of his potential co-conspirators, court papers show..." Who comes to an agreement with a defendant promising not to charge other "potential" co-conspirators? Who else was Acosta protecting??? This stunk to high heaven then and stinks now.

Sammy
Florida July 8 Times Pick
This case is local to me, live in Palm Beach, and one I've followed from day 1. The case and the treatment of Epstein never made sense. Obviously the Feds were in charge of the deal that was brokered, but local officials played a part as well. Former Palm Beach State Attorney Krischer signed off on this deal. PBSO sheriff Bradshaw signed off on the sweetheart jail deal. Both of these offices need to be investigated as well.

Ellen
Williamburg July 8 Times Pick
Epstein and his wealthy powerful covert treated girls as disposable playthings to be passed around and used up, with no concern for their autonomy or humanity. Even when caught, he had enough connections that he served virtually no time, and his case was sealed. And the guy that brokered the deal, Acosta, was rewarded mightily for that. Is there any wonder we have such and abysmal record of abuse of females and femicide? Is it any wonder that rape kits go untested? That our full health care s up for debate and decided by panels made up of men alone, with no female input? These abusers protect each other and continue to keep females under their thumbs because they can and because they themselves benefit from female oppression.

MSC
Virginia July 8 Times Pick
I was pretty impressed by both the NYC prosecutor and the FBI during this morning's press conference. They seemed firmly in the corner of the young women who were sexually abused by doing a good job explaining why this was criminal abuse by Epstein, not choice on the part of the victims. The press conference participants also made a point of showing a display with Epstein's photo and an FBI contact number for other victims to call. The FBI went so far as to explain what buttons to push when victims called in. I would like to see wide dissemination of Epstein's photo and the FBI number in the press so that victims know where to call to lodge their complaints

Donna Nieckula
Minnesota July 8 Times Pick
@Richard This is not a Democratic or Republican issue... in spite of many political comments to this article. This is about wealthy, well-connected men and boys who are sexual predators with perverse predilections for girls and young women. This is about wealthy and well-connected predators who, when caught, may never face trial... and who, if tried and found guilty, are handled with kid gloves, usually receiving inappropriately weak sentences. 20 Replies
Elin Minkoff Florida July 8 Times Pick
He was allowed to leave the Palm Beach County jail 6 days a week to work????? What kind of sentence is that????? He is obviously not just a predator but a very bold and unconcerned one, to have kept all this evidence showing apparently under-age girls in his Manhattan home. When you have that much money, and you have gotten away with such filth and corruption your entire life, you think that you will always be able to buy your way out of trouble. And most of these kinds of people do. I do hope that this time he pays dearly for what he has done. It is hard to imagine what kind of a mind preys on children like this. 16 Replies

steve
CT July 8
"Under the agreement, Mr. Epstein pleaded guilty to state prostitution charges and spent about a year in a Palm Beach jail. He was permitted to leave the facility six days a week for 12 hours a day to work." "The agreement was negotiated in part by Alexander Acosta, a former federal prosecutor who is now President Trump's secretary of labor." As Labor Secretary, Acosta is responsible for monitoring human trafficking. Trump placed the fox Acosta in charge of the henhouse. Trump needs to be held accountable, for his links to Epstein and Acosta, and we need to know what kind to backroom deals were made. Unfortunately we have a two tiered justice system, one for the super wealthy and one for the rest.

MS
Cambridge July 8 Times Pick
As a sex trafficking survivor and advocate for others caught up in the traps set for us (sex trafficking is sexual activity instigated through fraud, force, and/or coercion) most of us would point to the privileged and fraudulent deal Epstein got as a reason to logically have zero trust in the Lord and social process.

This action taken by New York Federal Prosecutors against Epstein challenges our logical distrust. I want to believe in this new day. T he trick Epstein and his lawyers used was to twist the narrative - fraudulently procured women engaged in an act of prostitution - viola - the act of prostitution (even through fraud my friends) has socially conferd the identity of prostitute....

And could these young corrupt prostitutes be seen as lilly white witnesses for the prosecution? This twisted reframing of identity for the exploitation of Epstein legal team was yet another crime. Then, third hit was not informing victims - how was this justice. I want to believe.

Dennis W So. California July 8 Times Pick
So the Justice Department gets a 'do-over' after bungling their first try over a decade ago. A slap on the wrist was administered to this predator who has continued to prey on young women. Let's see if money, power and connections once again win the day and put him back on the street. One would think justice will certainly prevail, but look at all the people who are not even prosecuted due to influence and wealth. 8 Replies
Avatar New York July 8
So much truly disgusting, criminal, evil behavior. Acosta catered to a pedophile while he threw the child victims under the bus. He should be behind bars as an accomplice. A president whose "modeling" agency served as a model for Epstein's "modeling" agency. A president who praised Epstein and winked at his penchant for girls "on the young side." Lawyers, including Alan Dershowitz, who ran interference for Epstein so that he was free to molest so many other children. Dershowitz stands accused, in civil suits, of being a party to the horrors. He claims he's innocent. Whether or not he committed a felony, he committed a crime against morality by helping to keep Epstein on the prowl for years. As yet unnamed big shots who wallowed in the swamp with Epstein and also belong behind bars. Anyone and everyone associated with Epstein in his felonies needs to be named and exposed to the light of day, whoever they are. They ALL deserve punishment and universal condemnation.


Charlotte Amalie
Oklahoma July 8

Again, news that makes you wonder how deep this boys club goes. In his Playboy interview in 1987, Gore Vidal said that the genius of our ruling class is that "they're so brilliant that no one knows they even exist." He went on to defend himself from accusations that he's a conspiracy theorist. "'You think they get together at the Bohemian Grove and run the United States.' Well, they do get together at the Bohemian Grove and do a lot of picking of Secretaries of State, anyway. But they don't have to conspire. They all think alike." Don't know what the Bohemian Grove is? Look it up.
RP Potomac, MD July 8
I told my 14 yr old daughter what this monster has been accused of and she looked like she was going to vomit. Dirty old men have been around for centuries, time to expose them and protect our daughters!!!

lionelqdeveraux
new York City July 8
@MS "In a particularly unusual provision of that agreement, Acosta agreed that prosecutors would “not institute any criminal charges against any potential co-conspirators of Epstein” and would “suspend” the grand jury investigation. That provision suggests that Epstein was seeking to protect others beyond himself." This stinks! Acosta should be disbarred and indicted as an accomplice. Justice was not served here!

Paul Kramer
Poconos July 8 Times Pick
As an attorney, it is misleading to the public to suggest that one can be prosecuted twice for the same crime. First, there is the issue of the scope of the Florida disposition. Rest assured Epstein's attorneys will focus on cramming all the "new" evidence into the Florida package. Second, Berman will have to prove the "new" evidence post-dates the Florida matters. Third -probably most critical- Berman must convince the court that probable cause to look into Epstein's alleged behavior arose from something OTHER than the mere fact of the Florida matter.

faivel1
NY July 8
Yes, great injustices occur in this country on a daily basis, now we'll have to watch and see how many scums will be revealed... Full blown banana republic, where sexual predators flying all over the world on their private jets, living in a most exclusive mansions in NYC, sailing on their luxury yachts and avoiding justice for decades with non prosecution deal constructed in hush-hush dark rooms of shadow justice. I wonder how Barr's DOJ will twist itself in pretzels to include the question of citizenship on 2020 census. Nothing will shock me anymore.
Deb CT July 9 Times Pick
Secretary Acosta, now calling Epstein's crimes 'horrific", but let Epstein plead to a charge of prostitution, carrying a much lesser sentence. Epstein was allowed to leave jail 6 days a week for 12 hours a day. No child of the age of 14 can be a prostitute, no matter if money was exchanged for sex. These girls were raped and abused. Secretary Acosta needs to step down immediately. No one can give an incredibly generous plea deal to a remorseless child molester and still expect to hold the public’s trust. He failed Jeffrey Epstein’s victims. He failed the people of South Florida. He cannot continue to serve. Why is every single republican such a hypocrite?

TM
Boston, MA July 9 Times Pick
Thank goodness for brave reporters. But we have all protected the Epsteins of the world for too long. We all protect the Epsteins of the world when we show that we value riches and status over all else. Our churches, our legal system, our colleges, our very laws, do more to protect the rich than the vulnerable. Someone without status in our country can suffer more for public urination than Epstein has so far for his horrific crimes. The way we, as a culture, value status above all else, paves the way for the Epsteins of the world to thrive. We can clutch our pearls all we want to, but when we clamor for admission to an elite school, buy houses and cars we can't afford, buy knockoff designer goods we know were made by foreign children, because we are desperate to show that we have status, we create a culture where status is the only protection; we show that we value perceived status over integrity, financial solvency, decency, justice, peace, even over the safety of our children. The fact that status is our number one value lay the path for Trump to be elected. The fake billionaire promised to restore status to those who felt that the little they had had been robbed from them by minorities, women, gays. And while many of us are horrified with the results, everything we do that shows that we, too, value perceived status over anything else, makes us part of this problem. If we did not adore the rich and powerful, they would not have so much power.

Red Sox, ‘04, ‘07, ‘13, ‘18
Boston July 8
I’m a lifelong cynic. Poor folks, minority folks and women never get full justice. Harvey Weinstein paid up but was there justice? Was there full restitution? I’m saying here that the defendant—white, male, wealthy and a friend of the president—walks. Because money talks. I dare justice to prove me wrong. Just once. These girls had mothers. These girls had a future. Once upon a time.
Peggy Jenkins Moscow, Idaho July 8
@Paul Kramer you are citing textbook law but this is not a textbook case. A federal judge ruled the 2008 deal was illegal. The NY prosecutors are NOT saying they are limited to post-2008; stuff they are saying that deal only binds the Southern District of Florida. That could easily be a reference to the illegality finding.

The Prosecutors in Florida may say they don't see a reason to recharge after that finding of illegality, but since the agreement has no force or effect the NY feds could conclude otherwise. Especially because there was always criminal conduct with SDNY and they should not be bound by an illegal deal entered into by prosecutors elsewhere.


MarkyT
Toronto July 9 Times Pick
The Epstein saga reminds me of that long-running joke (and movie) The Aristocrats. A joke so filthy and disgusting that it's been told, retold and embellished for decades. What's that saying about many a truth told in jest? Epstein shows there's moral debauchery that comes with obscene wealth. The 1 per cent have lost their ethical bearings. Good journalism has shined some antiseptic light on this perversion of justice. Well done.

Multimodalmama
The hub July 8
@Paul Kramer In case you didn't read the article, these are entirely New York charges. No Florida here. He also had porn of young girls and that is also something very bad for a registered sex offender. You seriously underestimate the league that these prosecutors have been playing in.

Baddy Khan
San Francisco July 8
News reports say that in the Florida case co-conspirators were kept secret and not charged. Hopefully this list becomes public soon. Could there be an orange colored dude currently in Washington on that list?

Dan
Redding, CT July 8
Send me the next breaking news alert notification when he is actually scheduled to go on trial. Because until then, nothing will have changed.

NYC Mama
Ny, Ny July 8
My 13-year-old just read the article in The York Times. Here are her questions: “Mommy, is it true our president was accused of raping a teenager?” “Mommy, why would a lawyer allow Jeff Epstein who hurt teen girls to go to work everyday instead of being in jail?” “Mommy, what’s masturbation and sex toys?” “Mommy, what happens to the photos of naked girls? Do they know he has them? Do their parents and friends know? You said once a photo is on-line, it can be on other people’s computers forever. What’s going to happen to them?” “Mommy, why would this man’s girlfriend help him find girls to give him naked massages?” Innocent Children! This man corrupted the innocence of children—those he directly abused—and every child exposed to his disgusting perversions via the news. I want justice now, as does every single adult who cares about our youth!
Joe From Boston Massachusetts July 8
@Elin Minkoff said "It is hard to imagine what kind of a mind preys on children like this." A very sick mind, one that is self-important, egotistical, unconcerned with the interests or rights of anyone else, and has no regard for the law or for societal norms. Doesn't that sound just like a man who has been a public servant since January 20, 2017?
Mary Maine July 9
The real hero here is Julie Brown of the Miami Herald. The evidence was there all the time and law enforcement knew about it. By publishing the long piece in the Herald, she made it impossible to ignore any longer. 1 Reply
Loner NC July 8
@Ellen Epstein's lawyers included Ken Starr, whose role in all this should be investigated as well.
ML Boston July 8
"Seeking to detain" -- does that mean that they are considering the possibility that this man should be let out on bail AGAIN. Poor and minority Americans languish in the mass incarceration-industrial-complex for minor infractions for years, or for not having the ability to pay fines or bail, but this serial pedophile might go free again because he has money? There should be no chance that this creep receives a "get out of jail free" card again, unless we want to highlight to the world -- over and over -- how thoroughly corrupt and morally bankrupt our system of justice is in America.
J. Cornelio Washington, Conn. July 8
Epstein didn't get his sweetheart deal in 2008 because he is one of those "insulated, powerful men [who] can escape accountability." He got it because he has information, damning information, about a slew of other powerful men, who then intervened to protect him. The US attorney for the SDNY has unwittingly opened a can of doo-doo which will either be quickly closed again with some clever lawyering and strained legalistic parsing or, if not, will reveal a dark underbelly at the highest ranks of society that I think even those calling for Epstein's scalp might wish had never been exposed.
Covfefe Long Beach, NY July 8
This Epstein is a serial killer of children’s souls. No way should he be let out.
Marjorie Charlottesville, VA July 8
That he would still be in possession of child pornography illustrates just how insulated and safe he felt in his position. And why wouldn't he? Protected on all sides by powerful political and financial connections. As E.J. Dionne said in his column today, we are in the Age of Impunity. Well, maybe no more for this arrogant perverted abuser. Next up, Acosta's day of reckoning. Noted in a different publication is his accomplice for over a decade, a woman, Ghislaine Maxwell, who facilitated many of the girls' victimization. Not sure why she is not mentioned in this article.
marklee nyc July 8
@Dennis W This case was not "bungled." The prosecutor made a deal behind closed doors, the terms of which we are not privy to. It is not surprise to find this slimeball Acosta working in te Trump administration. There was a quid pro quo we do not yet know about, and there were co-conspirators not charged, also powerful, wealthy individuals. There is an entire iceberg beneath this dirty tip.

[Jul 15, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Has Made Her Story America's Story

Highly recommended!
Jul 15, 2019 | www.thenation.com

Looks like Warren weakness is her inability to distinguish between key issues and periferal issues.

While her program is good and is the only one that calls for "structural change" (which is really needed as neoliberalism outlived its usefulness) it mixes apple and oranges. One thing is to stop neoliberal transformation of the society and the other is restitution for black slaves. In the latter case why not to Indians ?

I'd argue that Warren's newly tight and coherent story, in which her life's arc tracks the country's, is contributing to her rise, in part because it protects her against other stories -- the nasty ones told by her opponents, first, and then echoed by the media doubters influenced by her opponents. Her big national-stage debut came when she tangled with Barack Obama's administration over bank bailouts, then set up the powerhouse Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). But she was dismissed as too polarizing, even by some Democrats, and was passed over to run it. In 2012, Massachusetts's Scott Brown mocked Warren as "the Professor," a know-it-all Harvard schoolmarm, before she beat him to take his Senate seat. After that, Donald Trump began trashing her as "Pocahontas" in the wake of a controversy on the campaign trail about her mother's rumored Native American roots. And Warren scored an own goal with a video that announced she had "confirmed" her Native heritage with a DNA test, a claim that ignored the brutal history of blood-quantum requirements and genetic pseudoscience in the construction of race.

When she announced her presidential run this year, some national political reporters raised questions about her likability , finding new ways to compare her to Hillary Clinton, another female candidate widely dismissed as unlikable. A month into Warren's campaign, it seemed the media was poised to Clintonize her off the primary stage. But it turned out she had a plan for that, too.

I n the tale that is captivating crowds on the campaign trail, Warren is not a professor or a political star but a hardscrabble Oklahoma "late-in-life baby" or, as her mother called her, "the surprise." Her elder brothers had joined the military; she was the last one at home, just a middle-schooler when her father had the massive heart attack that would cost him his job. "I remember the day we lost the station wagon," she tells crowds, lowering her voice. "I learned the words 'mortgage' and 'foreclosure' " listening to her parents talk when they thought she was asleep, she recalls. One day she walked in on her mother in her bedroom, crying and saying over and over, " 'We are not going to lose this house.' She was 50 years old," Warren adds, "had never worked outside the home, and she was terrified."

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This part of the story has been a Warren staple for years: Her mother put on her best dress and her high heels and walked down to a Sears, where she got a minimum-wage job. Warren got a private lesson from her mother's sacrifice -- "You do what you have to to take care of those you love" -- and a political one, too. "That minimum-wage job saved our house, and it saved our family." In the 1960s, she says, "a minimum-wage job could support a family of three. Now the minimum wage can't keep a momma and a baby out of poverty."

That's Act I of Warren's story and of the disappearing American middle class whose collective story her family's arc symbolizes. In Act II, she walks the crowd through her early career, including some personal choices that turned her path rockier: early marriage, dropping out of college. But her focus now is on what made it possible for her to rise from the working class. Warren tells us how she went back to school and got her teaching certificate at a public university, then went to law school at another public university. Both cost only a few hundred dollars in tuition a year. She always ends with a crowd-pleaser: "My daddy ended up as a janitor, but his baby daughter got the opportunity to become a public-school teacher, a law professor, a US senator, and run for president!"


Warren has honed this story since her 2012 Senate campaign. Remember her "Nobody in this country got rich on his own" speech ? It was an explanation of how the elite amassed wealth thanks to government investments in roads, schools, energy, and police protection, which drew more than 1 million views on YouTube. Over the years, she has become the best explainer of the way the US government, sometime around 1980, flipped from building the middle class to protecting the wealthy. Her 2014 book, A Fighting Chance , explains how Warren (once a Republican, like two of her brothers) saw her own family's struggle in the stories of those families whose bankruptcies she studied as a lawyer -- families she once thought might have been slackers. Starting in 1989, with a book she cowrote on bankruptcy and consumer credit, her writing has charted the way government policies turned against the middle class and toward corporations. That research got her tapped by then–Senate majority leader Harry Reid to oversee the Troubled Assets Relief Program after the 2008 financial crash and made her a favorite on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart . Starting in the mid-2000s, she publicly clashed with prominent Democrats, including Biden , a senator at the time, over bankruptcy reforms, and later with then–Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner over the bank bailouts.

Sanders, of course, has a story too, about a government that works for the "millionaires and billionaires." But he has a hard time connecting his family's stories of struggle to his policies. After his first few campaign events, he ditched the details about growing up poor in Brooklyn. In early June, he returned to his personal story in a New York Times op-ed .

W arren preaches the need for "big structural change" so often that a crowd chanted the phrase back at her during a speech in San Francisco the first weekend in June. Then she gets specific. In Act III of her stump speech, she lays out her dizzying array of plans. But by then they're not dizzying, because she has anchored them to her life and the lives of her listeners. The rapport she develops with her audience, sharing her tragedies and disappointments -- questionable choices and all -- makes her bold policy pitches feel believable. She starts with her proposed wealth tax: two cents on every dollar of your worth after $50 million, which she says would raise $2.75 trillion over 10 years. (She has also proposed a 7 percent surtax on corporate profits above $100 million.)

Warren sells the tax with a vivid, effective comparison. "How many of you own a home?" she asks. At most of her stops in Iowa, it was roughly half the crowd. "Well, you already pay a wealth tax on your major asset. You pay a property tax, right?" People start nodding. "I just want to make sure we're also taxing the diamonds, the Rembrandts, the yachts, and the stock portfolios." Nobody in those Iowa crowds seemed to have a problem with that.

Then she lays out the shocking fact that people in the top 1 percent pay roughly 3.2 percent of their wealth in taxes, while the bottom 99 percent pay 7.4 percent.

That "big structural change" would pay for the items on Warren's agenda -- the programs that would rebuild the opportunity ladder to the middle class -- that have become her signature: free technical school or two- or four-year public college; at least partial loan forgiveness for 95 percent of those with student debt; universal child care and prekindergarten, with costs capped at 7 percent of family income; and a pay hike for child-care workers.

"Big structural change" would also include strengthening unions and giving workers 40 percent of the seats on corporate boards. Warren promises to break up Big Tech and Big Finance. She calls for a constitutional amendment to protect the right to vote and vows to push to overturn Citizens United . To those who say it's too much, she ends every public event the same way: "What do you think they said to the abolitionists? 'Too hard!' To the suffragists fighting to get women the right to vote? 'Too hard!' To the foot soldiers of the civil-rights movement, to the activists who wanted equal marriage? 'Give up now!' " But none of them gave up, she adds, and she won't either. Closing that way, she got a standing ovation at every event I attended.

R ecently, Warren has incorporated into her pitch the stark differences between what mid-20th-century government offered to black and white Americans. This wasn't always the case. After a speech she delivered at the Roosevelt Institute in 2015, I heard black audience members complain about her whitewashed version of the era when government built the (white) middle class. Many black workers were ineligible for Social Security; the GI Bill didn't prohibit racial discrimination ; and federal loan guarantees systematically excluded black home buyers and black neighborhoods. "I love Elizabeth, but those stories about the '50s drive me crazy," one black progressive said.

The critiques must have made their way to Warren. Ta-Nehisi Coates recently told The New Yorker that after his influential Atlantic essay "The Case for Reparations" appeared five years ago, the Massachusetts senator asked to meet with him. "She had read it. She was deeply serious, and she had questions." Now, when Warren talks about the New Deal, she is quick to mention the ways African Americans were shut out. Her fortunes on the campaign trail brightened after April's She the People forum in Houston, where she joined eight other candidates in talking to what the group's founder, Aimee Allison, calls "the real Democratic base": women of color, many from the South. California's Kamala Harris, only the second African-American woman ever elected to the US Senate, might have had the edge coming in, but Warren surprised the crowd. "She walked in to polite applause and walked out to a standing ovation," Allison said, after the candidate impressed the crowd with policies to address black maternal-health disparities, the black-white wealth gap, pay inequity, and more.



G Jutson says:

July 4, 2019 at 1:00 pm

Well here we are in the circular firing squad Obama warned us about. Sander's fan boys vs. Warren women. Sanders has been our voice in DC on the issues for a generation. He has changed the debate. Thank you Bernie. Now a Capitalist that wants to really reform it can be a viable candidate. Warren is that person. We supported Sanders last time to help us get to this stage. Time to pass the baton to someone that can beat Trump. After the Sept. debates I expect The Nation to endorse Warren and to still hear grumbling from those that think moving on from candidate Bernie somehow means unfaithfulness to his/our message .

Kenneth Viste says: June 27, 2019 at 5:52 am

I would like to hear her talk about free college as an investment in people rather than an expense. Educated people earn more and therefore pay more taxes than uneducated so it pays to educate the populous to the highest level possible.

Jim Dickinson says: June 26, 2019 at 7:11 pm

Warren gets it and IMO is probably the best Democratic candidate of the bunch. Biden does not get it and I get depressed seeing him poll above Warren with his tired corporate ideas from the past.

I have a different take on her not being progressive enough. Her progressive politics are grounded in reality and not in the pie in the sky dreams of Sanders, et al. The US is a massively regressive nation and proposing doing everything at once, including a total revamp of our healthcare system is simply unrealistic.

That was my problem with Sanders, who's ideas I agree with. There is no way in hell to make the US into a progressive dream in one election - NONE.

I too dream of a progressive US that most likely goes well beyond what most people envision. But I also have watched those dreams collapse many, many times in the past when we reach too far. I hope that we can make important but obtainable changes which might make the great unwashed masses see who cares about them and who does not.

I hope that she does well because she has a plan for many of the ills of this nation. The US could certainly use some coherent plans after the chaos and insanity of the Trump years. Arguing about who was the best Democratic candidate in 2016 helped put this schmuck in office and I hope that we don't go down that path again.

Caleb Melamed says: June 26, 2019 at 2:13 pm

I had a misunderstanding about one key aspect of Warren's political history. I had always thought that she was neutral in 2016 between Sanders and Hillary Clinton. On CNN this morning, a news clip showed that Warren in fact endorsed Hillary Clinton publicly, shouting "I'm with her," BEFORE Sanders withdrew from the race. This action had the effect of weakening Sanders' bargaining position vis a vis Clinton once he actually withdrew. Clinton proceeded to treat Sanders and his movement like a dish rag. I am now less ready to support Warren in any way.

Robert Andrews says: June 26, 2019 at 12:17 pm

I have three main reasons I do not want Senator Warren nominate which are:

Not going all out for a single payer healthcare system. This is a massive problem with Warren. With her starting out by moving certain groups to Medicare is sketchy at best. Which groups would be graced first? I am sure whoever is left behind will be thrilled. Is Warren going to expand Medicare so that supplemental coverages will not be needed anymore? Crying about going too far too fast is a losing attitude. You go after the most powerful lobby in the country full bore if you want any kind of real and lasting changes.

With Warren's positions and actions with foreign policy this statement is striking, "Once Warren's foreign policy record is scrutinized, her status as a progressive champion starts to wither. While Warren is not on the far right of Democratic politics on war and peace, she also is not a progressive -- nor a leader -- and has failed to use her powerful position on the Senate Armed Services Committee to challenge the status quo" - Sarah Lazare. She is the web editor at In These Times. She comes from a background in independent journalism for publications including The Intercept, The Nation, and Tom Dispatch. She tweets at @sarahlazare.

Lastly, the stench with selling off her integrity with receiving corporate donations again if nominated is overpowering.

For reference, she was a registered Republican until the mid 1990's.

Joan Walsh, why don't you give congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard any presence with your articles? Her level of integrity out shines any other female candidate and Gabbard's positions and actions are progressive. I don't want to hear that she isn't a major player, because you have included Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Gabbard's media blackout has been dramatic, thank you for your contribution with it also.

Robert Andrews says: June 27, 2019 at 8:29 am

I was impressed with Warren on the debate, especially since she finally opened her arms to a single payer healthcare system.

Caleb Melamed says: June 26, 2019 at 2:35 pm

Gabbard is playing a very important role in this race, whatever her numbers (which are probably higher than those being reported and are sure to go up after tonight). In some ways, her position in 2020 resembles that of Sanders in 2016--the progressive outlier, specifically on issues relating to the U.S. policy of endless war. Gabbard makes Sanders look more mainstream by comparison on this issue (though their difference is more one of emphasis than substance), making it much harder for the DNC establishment to demonize and ostracize Sanders. (Third Way really, really wants to stop Sanders--they have called him an "existential threat.") Gabbard's important role in this respect is one reason the DNC and its factotums are expending such effort on sliming her.

By the way, Nation, you have now reprinted my first comment to this article five (5) times!

Clark Shanahan says: June 26, 2019 at 1:19 pm

Tulsi,
Our most eloquent anti-military-interventionism candidate, hands down.

Richard Phelps says: June 26, 2019 at 1:29 pm

Unfortunately EW doesn't beat Trump past the margin of error in all the polls I have seen. Bernie does in most. The other scary factor is how so many neoliberals are now talking nice about her. They want anyone but the true, consistent progressive, Bernie. And her backing away from putting us on a human path on health care, like so many other countries, is foreboding of a sellout to the health insurance companies, a group focused on profits over health care for our citizens. A group with no redeeming social value. 40,000+ people die each year due to lack of medical care, so the company executives can have their 8 figure salaries and golden parachutes when they retire. Also don't forget they are adamantly anti union. Where is Warren's fervor to ride our country of this leach on society? PS I donated $250 to her last Senate campaign. I like her. She is just not what we need to stop the final stages of oligarchic take over, where so much of our resources are wasted on the Pentagon and unnecessary wars and black opps. It is not Bernie or bust, it is Bernie or oligarchy!!!

Walter Pewen says: June 27, 2019 at 10:52 am

Frankly, having family from Oklahoma I'd say Warren IS a progressive. Start reading backwards and you will find out.

Clark Shanahan says: June 26, 2019 at 1:24 pm

You certainly shall never see her call out AIPAC.
She has since tried to shift her posture.. but, her original take was lamentable.

https://theintercept.com/2014/08/28/elizabeth-warren-speaks-israelgaza-sounds-like-netanyahu/

Clark Shanahan says: June 26, 2019 at 10:29 pm

You really need to give Hillary responsibility for her loss, Andy
Also, to Obama, who sold control of the DNC over to Clinton Inc in Sept, 2015.
I'll vote for Warren, of course.
Sadly, with our endless wars and our rogue state Israel, Ms Warren is way too deferential; seemingly hopeless.

Walter Pewen says: June 28, 2019 at 11:22 am

I don't want to vote for Biden. And if he gets the nomination I probably won't. And I've voted the ticket since 1976. I DO NOT like Joe Biden. Contrary to the media mind fuck we are getting in this era. And I'll wager a LOT of people don't like him. He is a dick.

Karin Eckvall says: June 26, 2019 at 10:50 am

Well-done article Ms. Walsh. Walter, I want to vote for her but can't because although she has plans to deal with the waste and corruption at the Pentagon, she has not renounced our endless militarism, our establishment-endorsed mission to police the world and to change regimes whenever we feel like it.

[Jul 13, 2019] Did Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein Work for Mossad by Philip Giraldi

Jul 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

The extent of Israeli spying directed against the United States is a huge story that is only rarely addressed in the mainstream media. The Jewish state regularly tops the list for ostensibly friendly countries that aggressively conduct espionage against the U.S. and Jewish American Jonathan Pollard, who was imprisoned in 1987 for spying for Israel, is now regarded as the most damaging spy in the history of the United States.

Last week I wrote about how Israeli spies operating more-or-less freely in the U.S. are rarely interfered with, much less arrested and prosecuted, because there is an unwillingness on the part of upper echelons of government to do so. I cited the case of Arnon Milchan, a billionaire Hollywood movie producer who had a secret life that included stealing restricted technology in the United States to enable development of Israel's nuclear weapons program, something that was very much against U.S. interests. Milchan was involved in a number of other thefts as well as arms sales on behalf of the Jewish state, so much so that his work as a movie producer was actually reported to be less lucrative than his work as a spy and black-market arms merchant, for which he operated on a commission basis.

That Milchan has never been arrested by the United States government or even questioned about his illegal activity, which was well known to the authorities, is just one more manifestation of the effectiveness of Jewish power in Washington, but a far more compelling case involving possible espionage with major political manifestations has just re-surfaced. I am referring to Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire Wall Street "financier" who has been arrested and charged with operating a "vast" network of underage girls for sex, operating out of his mansions in New York City and Florida as well as his private island in the Caribbean, referred to by visitors as "Orgy Island." Among other high-value associates, it is claimed that Epstein was particularly close to Bill Clinton, who flew dozens of times on Epstein's private 727.

Alex Acosta (L) Jeffrey Epstein (R)

Epstein was arrested on July 8th after indictment by a federal grand jury in New York. It was more than a decade after Alexander Acosta, the top federal prosecutor in Miami, who is now President Trump's secretary of labor, accepted a plea bargain involving similar allegations regarding pedophilia that was not shared with the accusers prior to being finalized in court. There were reportedly hundreds of victims, some 35 of whom were identified, but Acosta deliberately denied the two actual plaintiffs their day in court to testify before sentencing.

Acosta's intervention meant that Epstein avoided both a public trial and a possible federal prison sentence, instead serving only 13 months of an 18-month sentence in the almost-no-security Palm Beach County Jail on charges of soliciting prostitution in Florida. While in custody, he was permitted to leave jail for sixteen hours six days a week to work in his office.

Epstein's crimes were carried out in his $56 million Manhattan mansion and in his oceanside villa in Palm Beach Florida. Both residences were equipped with hidden cameras and microphones in the bedrooms, which Epstein reportedly used to record sexual encounters between his high-profile guests and his underage girls, many of whom came from poor backgrounds, who were recruited by procurers to engage in what was euphemistically described as "massages" for money. Epstein apparently hardly made any effort to conceal what he was up to: his airplane was called the "Lolita Express."

The Democrats are calling for an investigation of the Epstein affair, as well as the resignation of Acosta, but they might well wind up regretting their demands. Trump, the real target of the Acosta fury, apparently did not know about the details of the plea bargain that ended the Epstein court case. Bill and Hillary Clinton were, however, very close associates of Epstein. Bill, who flew on the "Lolita Express" at least 26 times , could plausibly be implicated in the pedophilia given his track record and relative lack of conventional morals. On many of the trips, Bill refused Secret Service escorts, who would have been witnesses of any misbehavior. On one lengthy trip to Africa in 2002, Bill and Jeffrey were accompanied by accused pedophile actor Kevin Spacey and a number of young girls, scantily clad "employees" identified only as "massage." Epstein was also a major contributor to the Clinton Foundation and was present at the wedding of Chelsea Clinton in 2010.

With an election year coming up, the Democrats would hardly want the public to be reminded of Bill's exploits, but one has to wonder where and how deep the investigation might go. There is also a possible Donald Trump angle. Though Donald may not have been a frequent flyer on the "Lolita Express," he certainly moved in the same circles as the Clintons and Epstein in New York and Palm Beach, plus he is by his own words roughly as amoral as Bill Clinton. In June 2016, one Katie Johnson filed lawsuit in New York claiming she had been repeatedly raped by Trump at an Epstein gathering in 1993 when she was 13 years old. In a 2002 New York Magazine interview Trump said "I've known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy he's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it – Jeffrey enjoys his social life."

Selective inquiries into wrongdoing to include intense finger pointing are the name of the game in Washington, and the affaire Epstein also has all the hallmarks of a major espionage case, possibly tied to Israel. Unless Epstein is an extremely sick pedophile who enjoys watching films of other men screwing twelve-year-old girls the whole filming procedure smacks of a sophisticated intelligence service compiling material to blackmail prominent politicians and other public figures. Those blackmailed would undoubtedly in most cases cooperate with the foreign government involved to avoid a major scandal. It is called recruiting "agents of influence." That is how intelligence agencies work and it is what they do.

That Epstein was perceived as being intelligence-linked was made clear in Acosta's comments when being cleared by the Trump transition team. He was asked "Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?" "Acosta had explained, breezily, apparently, that back in the day he'd had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He'd cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein's attorneys because he had 'been told' to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. 'I was told Epstein belonged to intelligence and to leave it alone.'"

Questions about Epstein's wealth also suggest a connection with a secretive government agency with deep pockets. The New York Times reports that "Exactly what his money management operation did was cloaked in secrecy, as were most of the names of whomever he did it for. He claimed to work for a number of billionaires, but the only known major client was Leslie Wexner, the billionaire founder of several retail chains, including The Limited."

But whose intelligence service? CIA and the Russian FSB services are obvious candidates, but they would have no particular motive to acquire an agent like Epstein. That leaves Israel, which would have been eager to have a stable of high-level agents of influence in Europe and the United States. Epstein's contact with the Israeli intelligence service may have plausibly come through his associations with Ghislaine Maxwell, who allegedly served as his key procurer of young girls. Ghislaine is the daughter of Robert Maxwell , who died or possibly was assassinated in mysterious circumstances in 1991. Maxwell was an Anglo-Jewish businessman, very cosmopolitan in profile, like Epstein, a multi-millionaire who was very controversial with what were regarded as ongoing ties to Mossad. After his death, he was given a state funeral by Israel in which six serving and former heads of Israeli intelligence listened while Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir eulogized : "He has done more for Israel than can today be said"

Trump (left) with Robert Maxwell (right) at an event

Epstein kept a black book identifying many of his social contacts, which is now in the hands of investigators. It included fourteen personal phone numbers belonging to Donald Trump, including ex-wife Ivana, daughter Ivanka and current wife Melania. It also included Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia, Tony Blair, Jon Huntsman, Senator Ted Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, David Koch, Ehud Barak, Alan Dershowitz, John Kerry, George Mitchell, David Rockefeller, Richard Branson, Michael Bloomfield, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Elizabeth, Saudi King Salman and Edward de Rothschild.

Mossad would have exploited Epstein's contacts, arranging their cooperation by having Epstein wining and dining them while flying them off to exotic locations, providing them with women and entertainment. If they refused to cooperate, it would be time for blackmail, photos and videos of the sex with underage women.

It will be very interesting to see just how far and how deep the investigation into Epstein and his activities goes. One can expect that efforts will be made to protect top politicians like Clinton and Trump and to avoid any examination of a possible Israeli role. That is the normal practice, witness the 9/11 Report and the Mueller investigation, both of which eschewed any inquiry into what Israel might have been up to. But this time, if it was indeed an Israeli operation, it might prove difficult to cover up the story since the pedophile aspect of it has unleashed considerable public anger from all across the political spectrum. Senator Chuck Schumer , self-described as Israel's "protector" in the Senate, is loudly calling for the resignation of Acosta. He just might change his tune if it turns out that Israel is a major part of the story.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org


9/11 Inside job , says: July 11, 2019 at 4:08 pm GMT

aanirfan.blogspot.com in an article entitled " Epstein , Trump, 9/11 ' has identified Epstein's links not only to Mossad but to his business relationships with CIA controlled airlines and perhaps to the false flag attacks on 9/11 .According to Aangirfan , Epstein is a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. The CIA and Mossad have strong ties resulting from the efforts , according to the Wall Street Journal no less, of former CIA chiefs William Casey and James Angleton . As Acosta has confirmed , Epstein has links to "intelligence " .

SunBakedSuburb , says: July 11, 2019 at 4:08 pm GMT

The presence of Ghislaine Maxwell is proof of Mossad's ownership of Epstein's kompromat operation. Ghislaine's father, Robert Maxwell, created the Neva network -- a consortium of technology companies, banks, and Russian and Bulgarian organized crime networks -- for his Mossad masters. Keeping up the family business, Ghislaine was running Epstein for the Israelis.

Sean McBride , says: July 11, 2019 at 4:26 pm GMT

Speculation or scenario: the highest levels of the CIA and Mossad have been closely allied since the late 1940s (see especially the role of James Angleton) and are pursuing common strategic objectives.

The New York Post remarked in March 2000:

"Epstein is an enigmatic figure. Rumors abound -- including wild ones about a career in the Mossad and, contrarily, the CIA."

Perhaps Epstein has been sponsored, funded, directed and protected by both agencies working in combination.

j2 , says: July 11, 2019 at 5:39 pm GMT

A question for Giraldi. You write:

"Those blackmailed would undoubtedly in most cases cooperate with the foreign government involved to avoid a major scandal. It is called recruiting "agents of influence." That is how intelligence agencies work and it is what they do."

But would not a single intelligence agency typically target and trap one isolated person, not a whole set of interconnected people? That is, this is more like the way the P2 lodge worked in Italy, that is, a society.

RobinG , says: July 11, 2019 at 6:25 pm GMT
@Patrikios Stetsonis

Thanks for posting Alison Weir's statement. The same Israel-First crowd that lobbied for Iraq war is now eager [for U.S.] to attack Iran.

"Only a General with balls, can save the USA and to an extension, the rest of the World." How about a Major? TULSI 2020.

Mark in BC , says: July 11, 2019 at 7:14 pm GMT

With all the mystery surrounding how Epstein obtained such great wealth, I can't help but think it may be a global money laundering operation connected to the global drug trade.

Books have been written about the CIA's involvement in cocaine and heroin distribution. Whether it's HW Bush and Iran Contra(cocaine) and Bill Clinton with Mena, AR airport complicity in same or the explosion in poppy (HW's nickname just a coincidence ) production in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion, drugs seem to connect all these dots and more.

And, let's not forget the Israeli "Art Student" operation that targeted DEA offices.

A way for Epstein to get out from under this with the CUFI crowd might be to point out Mary, mother of Jesus, was pregnant out of wedlock at 14 so what's the big deal?

Tired of Not Winning , says: July 11, 2019 at 7:16 pm GMT

NYT and Bloomberg have been writing about the mysterious source of Epstein's wealth. Epstein's hedge fund is established offshore and has a hush-hush list of "clients". He was once sued by a guy named Michael Stroll who said he lost all $450k of his money investing with Epstein, and he told an interviewer that everyone thought Epstein "was some kind of genius, but I never saw any genius, and I never saw him work. Anyone that wealthy would have to work 26 hours a day, Epstein played 26 hours a day." Bloomberg estimated that at best his net worth is $77m, which obviously is not enough to support his lavish lifestyle with 12 homes, a private island, private jet, 15 cars.

Epstein was "let go" by Bear Sterns because of his involvement in an insider trading case involving Edgar Bronfman, whose firm Seagram was in a hostile takeover bid of another firm. Bronfman, former president of World Jewish Congress, and his two daughters are investors in NXIVM which was recently charged with sex trafficking and other corruptions. Bronfman and Les Wexner, the single largest investor in Epstein's "hedge fund", were co-founders of the Zionist org. Mega. All these people are in one way or another connected with Israel.

I suspect Epstein and Bronfman were in fact running an international sex trafficking-racketeering ring on behalf of Mossad. That would explain his mysterious source of wealth. His little black book is rumored to include 1,500 names of who's who in politics, business and arts, and includes royalty, several foreign presidents and a famous prime minister.

Tired of Not Winning , says: July 11, 2019 at 7:52 pm GMT

Acosta needs to show some integrity and resign. But of course, if he had any, he would never have signed that plea bargain to begin with.

First Mueller, now Epstein, two chances for Barr to turn the Deep State inside out, upside down once and for all. Will he do it? I have my doubts. William Barr's father, Donald Barr, was the one who recruited Jeffrey Epstein, a two time college dropout, to be a calculus and physics teacher at the prestigious Dalton School in NYC when he was the headmaster there. Donald Barr, born Jewish but "converted" to Catholicism, was later ousted by a group of "progressive" parents at Dalton for being too conservative. But he was the one who gave Epstein the foot in the door. From there he got to teach the son of Bear Stern's CEO Ace Greenberg, and was recruited by the latter to work at Bear Sterns.

anon [398] Disclaimer , says: July 11, 2019 at 8:38 pm GMT

I wouldn't count out the CIA here. It is telling that one of Epstein's havens was overseas, several of them. These are locations where the CIA could legally operate. After collecting dirt, they could then funnel some of it selectively to the Israelis for distribution so the CIA could maintain plausible deniability while having a wall of separation between themselves and the Mossad-picked third party that leaked the info.

In fact, this is the most plausible scenario; it fits with everything we know: 1) "intelligence" reportedly told Acosta to back off 2) Epstein has been linked to the CIA 3) some of these locations were overseas, giving the CIA a legal justification for spying 4) these were largely American politicians and American allies 5) the CIA reportedly threatened Trump when he came into office by implying they would leak stuff on him: the Micheal Wolfe book, Fire and Fury I believe it was, related a story of Trump being pressured to set up a meeting with the CIA where he'd speak to them and, essentially, pledge loyalty to them because they would be his enemies otherwise (that's treason, btw); Trump dutifully complied 6) Epstein's mysterious wealth and property management would have attracted CIA attention long ago, meaning they should have been aware of this unless they helped set it up, including the guy's fake wealth (a front to get close to the powerful) anyone got a tax return for this guy?

This smells like CIA-Mossad joint op. If it were solely Mossad, the CIA should have stepped in and broken up this guy's little operation considering his targets. They should have followed up by either eliminating Epstein as a message to Mossad not to leak any of their dirt or threatened Epstein with punishment if he leaked or continued his activities. Tellingly, they covered for the guy.

follyofwar , says: July 11, 2019 at 9:57 pm GMT
@follyofwar

Also, does this sorry state of affairs make it more likely that Trump will "Wag the Dog" on Iran? Would the Epstein arrest have even happened if Trump had done Bibi's bidding and attacked Iran when the False Flag of the drone shoot down had been teed up for him like a driver smacking a golf ball. Conspiracy Theories is all we have left in the crumbling Empire of Lust and Greed. Perhaps I'm just paranoid.

Jacques Sheete , says: July 12, 2019 at 12:40 am GMT

Milchan was involved in a number of other thefts as well as arms sales on behalf of the Jewish state

One of many apparently.

The scum described here was rewarded with becoming the mayor of Jerusalem.

We've been involved in everything we've been asked to do [re Israel].

[Dad] went and he bought all of the equipment from the plant. It ended up being shipped to Israel. Because you know at that time, there was a complete embargo from the United States, and what little [the Israelis] got– well Most of what they got were smuggled in.Most of them were illegal, all the arms. That's what Teddy Kollek did. That was his job before he became a mayor [of Jerusalem]. He was a master smuggler. And he was good. Oh was he good! [laughter]

-Philip Weiss, Was it 'jihad' when Henry Crown smuggled plane parts to Israel?,July 29, 2013 27
http://mondoweiss.net/2013/07/was-it-jihad-when-henry-crown-smuggled-plane-parts-to-israel-and-when-jeffrey-goldberg-moved-there.html

The vid is good too. Shows the typical smug "Cheney" smirk of the speaker.

Hillbob , says: July 12, 2019 at 12:53 am GMT
@Art

Any wonder why Trump is so overtly and disgustingly pro Israel?

trelane , says: July 12, 2019 at 1:49 am GMT

The honey trap is one of the most powerful (and legitimate) ways to compromise public officials, including heads of state. Epstein is almost certainly Mossad.

Rabbitnexus , says: July 12, 2019 at 2:16 am GMT

This has been the talk and pretty obvious conclusion now for some time. Of COURSE Epstein was/is a MOSSAD asset if not agent. What's more his usefullness to them isn't over yet, especially if Trump is one of the names he has.

I think if Trump caves next false flag and has a go at Iran, it will imply that Trump is dirty and Epstein can prove it. I'm saying MOSSAD could be behind Epstein going down now as it makes his blakmail potential an imperitive. Hopefully Trump is clean and there are indications he is. If not then he just lost any ability to resist whatever the zippers now want of him.

Rabbitnexus , says: July 12, 2019 at 2:31 am GMT
@j2

The sort of influence Zionist "Israel" needs to wield and does requires exactly such an interconnected and multilayered stable of highly placed assets. Redundancy built in and how else do you think they manage to control so much AND avoid accountability? They cast a wide net. But you knew that I think.

renfro , says: July 12, 2019 at 2:54 am GMT
@Tired of Not Winning deal with one of Epstein's attorneys because he had "been told" to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. "I was told Epstein 'belonged to intelligence' and to leave it alone," he told his interviewers'

#4 Offshore Tax Schemes / Money Laundering
Deutsche Bank seems to be the Gordian Knot of financial filth and corruption. Epstein was a client of Deutsche Bank's 'special services department' same as Trump and Kushner ..same Deutsche bank as already fined for money laundering.

Possible Epstein and whoever was behind him engaged in all of these. If congress is going to question Acosta .first question should be who told him Epstein belonged to intelligence.

the grand wazoo , says: July 12, 2019 at 3:10 am GMT
@j2

You mentioned the Masonic Lodge P2 in Italy. If you haven't done so yet I recommend Paul Williams book "OPERATION GLADIO".

Achilles , says: July 12, 2019 at 3:29 am GMT

That 2002 New York piece Phil mentioned has some great tid-bits:

For more than ten years, he's been linked to Manhattan-London society figure Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of the mysteriously deceased media titan Robert Maxwell

He is an enthusiastic member of the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Indicative of globalism, Zionism and Jewish group interest.

those close to him say the reason he quit his board seat at the Rockefeller Institute was that he hated wearing a suit.

Obviously a falsely contrived reason, wonder what the deal was here

"I invest in people – be it politics or science. It's what I do," he has said to friends. And his latest prize addition is the former president [Bill Clinton].

Certainly suggestive of an intelligence operative mindset.

Before Clinton, Epstein's rare appearances in the gossip columns tended to be speculation as to the true nature of his relationship with Ghislaine Maxwell. While they are still friends, the English tabloids have postulated that Maxwell has longed for a more permanent pairing and that for undetermined reasons Epstein has not reciprocated in kind. "It's a mysterious relationship that they have," says society journalist David Patrick Columbia. "In one way, they are soul mates, yet they are hardly companions anymore. It's a nice conventional relationship, where they serve each other's purposes."

Friends of the two say that Maxwell, whose social life has always been higher-octane than Epstein's, lent a little pizzazz to the lower-profile Epstein. Indeed, at a party at Maxwell's house, her friends say, one is just as apt to see Russian ladies of the night as one is to see Prince Andrew.

Another interpretation is that his combination with Ghislaine was bringing a bit too much public attention to Epstein and his activities and therefore it was decided to let things die down a bit.

in 1976, he dropped everything and reported to work at Bear Stearns, where he started off as a junior assistant to a floor trader at the American Stock Exchange. His ascent was rapid.

At the time, options trading was an arcane and dimly understood field, just beginning to take off. To trade options, one had to value them, and to value them, one needed to be able to master such abstruse mathematical confections as the Black-Scholes option-pricing model. For Epstein, breaking down such models was pure sport, and within just a few years he had his own stable of clients. "He was not your conventional broker saying 'Buy IBM' or 'Sell Xerox,' " says Bear Stearns CEO Jimmy Cayne. "Given his mathematical background, we put him in our special-products division, where he would advise our wealthier clients on the tax implications of their portfolios. He would recommend certain tax-advantageous transactions. He is a very smart guy and has become a very important client for the firm as well."

In 1980, Epstein made partner, but he had left the firm by 1981. Working in a bureaucracy was not for him

Obviously, important facts are being left out. He is a talented options analyst but they have him advising clients on investment structures to save taxes? Why wouldn't they put him on principal trades for Bear if he was such an options whiz?

And why did he leave? Trading firms are notoriously NOT bureaucracies, and anyone with a talent for making money, especially in the early 80s, would find few fetters. Whole story not given here.

In 1982, according to those who know Epstein, he set up his own shop, J. Epstein and Co., which remains his core business today. The premise behind it was simple: Epstein would manage the individual and family fortunes of clients with $1 billion or more. Which is where the mystery deepens. Because according to the lore, Epstein, in 1982, immediately began collecting clients. There were no road shows, no whiz-bang marketing demos – just this: Jeff Epstein was open for business for those with $1 billion–plus.

Getting clients in asset management is a cut-throat business. But Epstein did not even have to make a pretense of competing for business?

His firm would be different, too. He was not here just to offer investment advice; he saw himself as the financial architect of every aspect of his client's wealth – from investments to philanthropy to tax planning to security to assuaging the guilt and burdens that large sums of inherited wealth can bring on.

the conditions for investing with Epstein were steep: He would take total control of the billion dollars, charge a flat fee, and assume power of attorney to do whatever he thought was necessary to advance his client's financial cause. And he remained true to the $1 billion entry fee. According to people who know him, if you were worth $700 million and felt the need for the services of Epstein and Co., you would receive a not-so-polite no-thank-you from Epstein.

Minimum $1b invested, no track record by the asset manager, and he claims the clients give him carte blanche? This is not normal wealth management.

Turning down giant new stakes just because they fall short of $1b? Nonsense. The name of the game on the buy side on Wall Street is size, because that gives you negotiating power with the sell side.

Epstein runs a lean operation, and those close to him say that his actual staff – based here in Manhattan at the Villard House (home to Le Cirque); New Albany, Ohio; and St. Thomas, where he reincorporated his company seven years ago (now called Financial Trust Co.) – numbers around 150 and is purely administrative. When it comes to putting these billions to work in the markets, it is Epstein himself making all the investment calls – there are no analysts or portfolio managers, just twenty accountants to keep the wheels greased and a bevy of assistants – many of them conspicuously attractive young women – to organize his hectic life. So assuming, conservatively, a fee of .5 percent (he takes no commissions or percentages) on $15 billion, that makes for a management fee of $75 million a year straight into Jeff Epstein's pocket.

Epstein makes all the daily investment decisions on $15b, yet no one on the sell side knows him? In other words Epstein does not invest in new issues. But new issues are the gravy for making money on the buy side – think IPO discount. This is not normal asset management.

some have speculated that Wexner is the primary source of Epstein's lavish life – but friends leap to his defense. "Let me tell you: Jeffrey Epstein has other clients besides Wexner. I know because some of them are my clients," says noted m&a lawyer Dennis Block of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. "I sent him a $500 million client a few years ago and he wouldn't take him. Said the account was too small. Both the client and I were amazed. But that's Jeffrey."

You can always trust the word of an M&A lawyer. They would never mislead anyone for advantage.

he found himself spending there [in Santa Fe], talking elementary particle physics with his friend Murray Gell-Mann, a Nobel Prize–winning physicist and co-chair of the science board at the Santa Fe Institute.

his covey of scientists that inspires Epstein's true rapture. Epstein spends $20 million a year on them

Gerald Edelman won the Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine in 1972 and now presides over the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla. "Jeff is extraordinary in his ability to pick up on quantitative relations," says Edelman. "He came to see us recently. He is concerned with this basic question: Is it true that the brain is not a computer? He is very quick."

Stephen Kosslyn, a psychologist at Harvard. Epstein flew up to Kosslyn's laboratory in Cambridge this year to witness an experiment that Kosslyn was conducting and Epstein was funding. Namely: Is it true that certain Tibetan monks are capable of holding a distinct mental image in their minds for twenty minutes straight?

Epstein has a particularly close relationship with Martin Nowak, an Austrian biology and mathematics professor who heads the theoretical-biology program at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. Nowak is examining how game theory can be used to answer some of the basic evolutionary questions – e.g., why, in our Darwinian society, does altruistic behavior exist?

Danny Hillis, an MIT-educated computer scientist whose company, Thinking Machines, was at the forefront of the supercomputing world in the eighties, and who used to run R&D at Walt Disney Imagineering

An intelligence operative would certainly have no interest in cultivating, buying or blackmailing scientists in the fields of nuclear physics, controlling human behavior or supercomputers!

And by the way, the need to explain "altruism" in terms of game theory is a tip-off that Epstein and Nowak have no spiritual life and cannot comprehend of it in other people. No surprise to find "do what thou wilt" as his guiding principle.

Strangely enough, given his scientific obsessions, he is a computer-phobe and does not use e-mail.

Before taking a big position, Epstein will usually fly to the country in question. He recently spent a week in Germany meeting with various government officials and financial types, and he has a trip to Brazil coming up in the next few weeks. On all of these trips, he flies alone in his commercial-jet-size 727.

Friends of Epstein say he is horrified at the recent swell of media attention around him

He has never granted a formal interview, and did not offer one to this magazine, nor has his picture appeared in any publication.

The final straws. If he's not an intelligence operative, he's doing everything he can to give that impression!

He "flies alone." LOL! Poor Jeffrey, he so ronery!

Tsigantes , says: July 12, 2019 at 3:47 am GMT
@SunBakedSuburb

When Bob Maxwell died at sea or disappeared it turned out that he had used or stolen every penny of ALL the pensions of his employees .which were never recovered. After her father was given a state funeral in Israel (not England where he and his family lived and worked) there followed a 2 year court case in which his 6 children were finally excused from any responsibility for these pensions, despite inheriting his money and two of them working in his companies.

And now Ghislaine turns up as a US socialite, multi-decade pedophile procurer and international human trafficker. Nice family .nice values! ...

tac , says: July 12, 2019 at 3:52 am GMT

Since the Little SAINT James pedo-island that was allegedly owned by Jeffery Epstein did not have an airport (the closest one being Curil E King airport in St. Thomas (about ten miles away)) that means the 'guests' would either have to take a boat trip or a helicopter trip. Since Little SAINT James does have a clearly marked helicopter landing site at the north central east part of the island (when viewed on google maps in satellite view) one would suspect that is how these so-called 'guests' arrived at this pedo-island.

... ... ...

Parisian Guy , says: July 12, 2019 at 4:11 am GMT
@9/11 Inside job

According to Aangirfan , Epstein is a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission.

This trilateral+CFR membership is plainly written on the Epstein Foundation website.

anon [189] Disclaimer , says: July 12, 2019 at 4:14 am GMT

First Weinstein then Epstein and how about the Clinton's or should we call them clintstein.birds of feather

Tired of Not Winning , says: July 12, 2019 at 4:16 am GMT
@renfro

Those activities are not mutually exclusive. It could be #5: All of the above. We all know how Mossad operates. Nothing is beyond them. The end justifies the means.

Israhell has a right to exist.

Tsigantes , says: July 12, 2019 at 4:16 am GMT
@Tired of Not Winning

Acosta is a distraction .and possibly innocent since he did what he was told which was to go easy on an intelligence asset.
Forget the small fry and concentrate on the real criminals please.

Sean , says: July 12, 2019 at 4:17 am GMT

Senator Chuck Schumer, self-described as Israel's "protector" in the Senate, is loudly calling for the resignation of Acosta. He just might change his tune if it turns out that Israel is a major part of the story.

Schumer would already have been tipped of if is was an Israeli operation. It's an anti Trump thing.

Tsigantes , says: July 12, 2019 at 4:27 am GMT
@follyofwar

The fact that the case has been moved to the Southern District of New York validates your cynicism.

Has the Only Democracy in the Middle East decided to sacrifice Epstein (he can be sprung later, his jig was up anyway) so that an Epstein circus can replace Russiagate?

ChuckOrloski , says: July 12, 2019 at 4:30 am GMT
@renfro

From renfro, the following great point:
"If congress is going to question Acosta .first question should be who told him Epstein belonged to intelligence."

, renfro! Thanks & my respect.

Because I have special enthusiasm for renfro's advice to "Congress," such will not fly with "congress."

Daniel Rich , says: July 12, 2019 at 4:47 am GMT

@ Philip Giraldi,

Quote: "It will be very interesting to see just how far and how deep the investigation into Epstein and his activities goes."

Reply: We'll get a glistening kabuki show, with lots of wailing [walls], thunder and lightening, twists and turns, but, in the end [as this case will go on and on – Harvey Weinstein, anyone?] people will forget about it.

Huh?

Oh, look. The Cartra$$hians!!!

Intelligent Dasein , says: Website July 12, 2019 at 4:53 am GMT

I fear that this is all rapidly turning into a modified limited hangout. A whole lot of dirt will be inconclusively exposed and, even though everyone will have a pretty good idea of what happened, there won't be enough will to do anything about it.

The caveat will be when the financial system finally implodes. A horde of jobless and desperate people will rapidly lose their patience for being governed by a bunch of incompetent pedophile oligarchs, but until then everyone will just go with the flow.

j2 , says: July 12, 2019 at 6:06 am GMT
@Rabbitnexus ut it looks more like a millionaire club. Intelligence agencies prefer to use secretaries and other less visible people as spies. I would look for some association of friends of Israel, something that has lots of money, wants lots of power, spies on people, both enemies and friends, and has some special love for Israel.

I maybe wrong, but this does not seem to me to be a single intelligence agency of any country. It operates in an age old method of a secret society, like mafia or masons. It is neither mafia nor masons, but some that especially likes to help Israel and probably created it. I guess there are such friends of Israel organizations, several.

jack daniels , says: July 12, 2019 at 6:10 am GMT
@Achilles

In social science it is often assumed that people are selfish. The attempt to show that altruism contributes positively to the prospects for survival and reproduction is important in defeating the presumption of underlying selfishness. It's not a very deep idea. If ten people carry a gene that causes one of them to throw himself on a hand-grenade, thereby saving the other nine, that gives the gene a better chance of being passed along than if the grenade goes off and most or all of the carriers are killed. If interested, see the book Evolution of the Social Contract by Brian Skyrms.

Wizard of Oz , says: July 12, 2019 at 6:10 am GMT
@Tired of Not Winning ld that one of the names is supposed to be Queen Elizabeth.

First a question: who says the telephone numbers were the sort only an intimate or ultimate insider would have? Queen Elizabeth's would surely have had to be the Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Sandringham or Balmoral switchboard.

Then there is what a sleazy or dangerous guy like Epstein might be expected to do, namely toss in a whole lot of names (with or without true up to date direct line numbers) to confuse and provide diversion and cover. Cute though isn't that he was supposed still to be using an old fashioned address book in the 21st Century rather than an encrypted or at least password protected smartphone.

Anon [255] Disclaimer , says: July 12, 2019 at 6:11 am GMT

From Tennessee,

The Palm Beach mansion Epstein owned was rigged with hidden cameras in some of the guest bedrooms according to an article I read a couple of years back.

Im glad we have forums like this so the word can get out: honeypot operations are not a thing of just the KGB/Cold War past, but of the Soros/intel orgs/globalist/Establishment present.

Future politicians and wealthy businesspersons need to be aware of this. The Bible has a great old verse that goes something like, "Be sure your sins will find you out".

Tono Bungay , says: July 12, 2019 at 8:25 am GMT

"Pedophilia"? Has anyone accused Epstein of mistreating pre-pubescent girls? I don't think so. If Mr. Giraldi wants to deplore what Epstein is accused of, fine. But don't try to confuse us by suggesting that he attacked children rather than underage teens.

gsjackson , says: July 12, 2019 at 8:55 am GMT
@follyofwar even Israel understand this would not be regime change business as usual.

U.S. war gamers for years have been saying there's no way the U.S. could significantly "win" the war. It would surely drive gas prices way up, and wake up the American public, creating a probably insurmountable political problem for Trump. Israel is liable to get pelted from all sides -- Hezbollah has promised to attack in the event of war, and there are probably ways of striking from Syria and Iran. Then there are the wild cards of Russia and China. No one knows for sure what Putin would do if Iran were attacked, but he could certainly turn Israel into a parking lot very quickly if he wanted to.

Wizard of Oz , says: July 12, 2019 at 9:12 am GMT
@Achilles

Well founded scepticism. Still, now we know the extent of what Bernie Madoff got away with perhaps someone who was clever and charming and appealed to those who wouldn't have invested with Madoff just might have put together enough billion dollar portfolios to be able, as long as he managed his tax affairs well to become very rich during the 80s. It would be interesting to know how he handled the October 1988 melt down.

A1N2O3N , says: July 12, 2019 at 10:47 am GMT

Good article. I was waiting for someone to come out and state the obvious regarding the Mossad connection.

My guess is that everything will be swept under the carpet, as usual, just as it was with the famous "DC Madam" case and her black book of DC clients.

Kartoffelstampfer , says: July 12, 2019 at 11:00 am GMT

One aspect of this entire Epstein Talmudic child abuse saga that really p*sses me off is the active participation of the IRS. It was the same with Madoff and Maxwell. None of these talmudic ponzi's could have gotten off the ground if these gangsters had been correctly filing all the correct tax forms like all the other goy schmucks.

Since 2012, with the Statute of Limitations retroactively extended 3 years to a total of 6 years backwards to 2006, all undeclared foreign bank accounts of US persons or green card holders on IRS FBAR forms (Foreign Bank Account Report), and since 2012 form 8948 (Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets), which is even more intrusive, face IRS penalties of 50% of the highest annual balance, and many tax sinners have been forced to pay more in taxes than these bank accounts ever contained. This is the tip of the iceberg compared to jewish charity and foundation and estate fraud.

Epstein supposedly was "gifted" the NY mansion from his "mentor" at the defunct and fraudulent money changer Bear Stearns for what must have been more than 50 Million. Rick Wiles drilled down in detail into this gift on Thursday .

These kinds of shenanigans, like flying "friends" around the world to your various child abuse temples in your private jets, are taxable gifts. In fact double taxed, taxed first as income and second with the gift tax. The Lolita Express could never be declared as a business expense either.

The entire rotten affair stinks on every level and it gets more putrid at every layer of talmudic control is peeled bank. At each level more Jews and Zionists come wiggling out and scurrying off to disappear from social and dinosaur media. But also as each layer gets peeled bank we get closer to the core, which with ever more certainty is ritual child sacrifice used for talmudic control.

Vetran , says: July 12, 2019 at 11:32 am GMT
@Tsigantes

Forget the small fry and concentrate on the real criminals please.

It's going to be difficult

Maurene Comey, one of the lead prosecutors who is handling the Epstein case, happens to be James Comey's daughter, the ex FBI boss.
It remains to be seen if she will be giving Bill Clinton special treatment, just like her father gave to Hillary's "lock her up".
Moreover, Judge Berman who preside the case, happens to be also a Clinton appointee (in 1998).

Jacques Sheete , says: July 12, 2019 at 11:34 am GMT
@ChuckOrloski

Chuck, have you seen this recent PG article?

The Death of Privacy: Government Fearmongers to Read Your Mail
Philip Giraldi • July 11, 2019 • 1,200 Words • 7 Comments • Reply

I say we dumb goyim pay more attention to that, and less to Errp-stain.

hobo , says: July 12, 2019 at 11:43 am GMT

In 1982, according to those who know Epstein, he set up his own shop, J. Epstein and Co., which remains his core business today. The premise behind it was simple: Epstein would manage the individual and family fortunes of clients with $1 billion or more. Which is where the mystery deepens. Because according to the lore, Epstein, in 1982, immediately began collecting clients. There were no road shows, no whiz-bang marketing demos – just this: Jeff Epstein was open for business for those with $1 billion–plus.

The fly in the ointment of this carefully cultivated cover story:

"Statistics published in Forbes magazine's annual survey of America's billionaires expose this little known but shocking reality. In 1982 there were 13 billionaires; in 1983 15″

DanFromCT , says: July 12, 2019 at 11:51 am GMT
@Tired of Not Winning

There's no need for anything so crude as either the head of the CIA or FBI reporting directly to the Mossad when both agencies are riddled from top to bottom with de facto Israeli espionage agents.

MLK , says: July 12, 2019 at 11:51 am GMT

A few no doubt unappealing observations.

It's a Fool's Errand to think you can solve Epstein like a puzzle. Most, like Giraldi, are engaged in bias confirmation. That isn't to say his speculations are entirely wrong but that we're all part of the play in one way or another.

In my view timing is rarely if ever coincidental. That seems glaringly obvious here. The Epstein scandal was resurrected now for a reason. I suspect that like the Academic Admissions scandal the Permanent Government is throwing its weight around. Warning (once again) that it can inflict casualties if exposing its 2016 malefactions is taken too far.

Weinstein served the same function -- with poor Meryl Streep the Sgt. Schultz headliner.

Put yourself in the mind of the various filth (e.g. Brennan) implicated in attempting to throw the election to Hillary and, failing that, frame-up and destroy the duly elected POTUS. They think they're entitled to a pass given all they've turned a blind eye to over the years.

Epstein's arrest strikes me as a shot across the bow in the context of the upcoming IG Report/Durham Investigation. I'm not picking on Giraldi but all of his fans here should note he's been Mumble Mouth at best on those malefactions. Nor am I saying that isn't the wise move for him.

The scandal that needs to be buried is that they built a global surveillance (and storage) apparatus, including of the American people. There was widespread, systematic abuse of it during the Obama Administration ('000s of people). Whatever limitations there were, effectively Mutually Assured Destruction with the establishment factions keeping an eye on each other, collapsed as they all united to stop Trump.

Epstein, like Weinstein and the Academic Admissions scandal, is both distraction and a warning to the Governing and Business Classes -- keep you heads down and mouths shut about these powerful intelligence/national security entities.

EliteCommInc. , says: July 12, 2019 at 12:34 pm GMT

I generally think waiting to see how matters fall out is a very good idea. But when I read the information of Mr. Acosta's interview, I sank a bit. Because it strongly suggested vested interest by the government – not to get to the truth.

That even the circus that usually comes to surround even credible cases will so muddy the waters as to avoid a rendering of what actually took place.

And given how compromised the collusion matter is was or will continue to be – the stakes may be higher here such that muddying the waters will be some relief for those involved.

And why due process matters

anon [499] Disclaimer , says: July 12, 2019 at 12:35 pm GMT

Myth of brilliance has been created to explain origin of his wealth . But even that shit was not enough , more myths had to be created like capacity of having brilliant discussions with Nobel laureate ( Physics) or with great educators , and with world renowned economist .

I guess authorities can get away with saying what F lies they can say until it blows up on their faces . Jew thinks goym are stupid , so tell them whatever come to mind like having a great autonomous brain that doesn't depend on education or training or publicly visible job to figure out the finances , economy, hard computer , physical and cognitive sciences and earning millions ,
while busy with
1 taking nude picture and storing them in 3-4 different areas
2 ferrying big guns from 3 different continents to Orgy Islsnd
3 Getting their intimate information , charting them connecting them and storing them
4 having parties with semi nude girls but attended by celebrities
5 holding message parkour parties from girls procured from shanty , trailer park ,
6 having serial girl friends
– there are more .

Oh yeah!!! No wonder people under pressure , lack of information , from removal of connecting dots , undue respect for glory money power , fear for being seen as ' naysayer ' or pessimist or low IQ uninformed , and fear of public ridicule can believe or can feign to believe the wildest whoopers / lies/ plaint shit dished out by the upper echelon of the society .
( then we wonder why people believe in UFO , big foot ,
, personal angels , apparitions, or America is a force for good )

DESERT FOX , says: July 12, 2019 at 12:48 pm GMT

Epstein in my opinion is a mossad officer whose agenda is to compromise zio/US politicians for the benefit of Israel and in this he is just one of many in the zio/US and in fact the zio/US gov is infested with dual Israeli citizens whose first and only loyalty is to Israel.

Read the book Blood in the Water by Joan Mellen about the attack on the USS Liberty by Israel and the US government to see how intertwined the mossad and the CIA are and remember the joint Israeli and zio/US gov attack on the WTC on 911, the zionists rule America!

RoatanBill , says: July 12, 2019 at 1:13 pm GMT

"CIA and the Russian FSB services are obvious candidates, but they would have no particular motive to acquire an agent like Epstein."
This is an assertion with nothing to back it up. The CIA, in particular, has every reason to use an 'Epstein' for its nefarious purposes as it IS the deep state or at least a major part of it.
The CIA owns the drug trade in Afghanistan and Mena, Arkansas can easily be connected to CIA activities along with gun running in Mexico. The CIA is the official criminal organization within the US gov't and it went rogue decades ago. It can afford to have multiple 'Epstein' clones running around to make sure it can control the US political class to not investigate its activities too closely.
The CIA and Israel are indistinguishable from each other. Israel runs US foreign policy via the CIA and their own Mossad.

Jacques Sheete , says: July 12, 2019 at 2:03 pm GMT
@A1N2O3N

My guess is that everything will be swept under the carpet, as usual, just as it was with the famous "DC Madam" case and her black book of DC clients.

Most certainly.

BTW, what ever happened with Podesta and Pizzagate? Anyone know?

Ludwig Watzal , says: Website July 12, 2019 at 2:48 pm GMT

Come on, Phil Giraldi. Do you believe in an independent American justice system? What a joke. It's corrupt to the bone. Weinstein, Epstein, Maxwell, Adelson, Saban, Koch you name it, have America in their pocket like Sharon used to say. During a furious beef between Sharon and Shimon Peres, Sharon turned toward Peres, saying "every time we do something you tell me Americans will do this and will do that. I want to tell you something obvious, don't worry about American pressure on Israel, we, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it."

Mike from Jersey , says: July 12, 2019 at 2:49 pm GMT

I read the Miami Herald's articles on the "plea deal" by which Epstein got a slap on the wrist.

I recommend that everyone read them.

This is just one of them.

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article214210674.html

Now ask yourself a question?

Could anyone but an intelligence agency get away with all of the following: 1) harassing witnesses (forcing their cars off the road public highways), 2) searching the trash of police officers in an attempt to find dirt on the officers and 3) obtaining a sweet heart plea bargain when the police had dozens of victims (who didn't even know each other) telling the exact same story and ready to testify – as well as photos of nude adolescents seized in a search.

Who could have done such things and got away with it.

Epstein must have been an operative. The only question is: for whom did he work?

Amerimutt Golems , says: July 12, 2019 at 3:37 pm GMT
@Curmudgeon

Gasp!!! Are you suggesting sweet, innocent Monica was blowing Slick Willie for reasons other than his taking advantage of her?

In his book Gideon's Spies the late Welsh author Gordon Thomas claimed Mossad had tapes of the same for blackmail reasons. However, this has never been confirmed.

TGD , says: July 12, 2019 at 3:45 pm GMT

Epstein will "cop a plea" and avoid a trial. That is certain.

A couple of things I'd like to ask the brilliant Epstein: Why did you engage in your nefarious sexual activity in New York State and Florida? The "age of consent" in both states is 18. In New Jersey, PA and other states, it's 16. Now US federal law prohibits sex between people 12 to 16 if one of the participants is 4 years or more older than the other. The law says "between" not inclusive of 16. So 16 might be OK. That's young enough.

Also Jeffrey, why didn't you take your "Lolita Express" to Tel Aviv? It's legal in Israel and no one checks up of the actual ages of the "working girls." And most are the tall blond/blue and slim types from Eastern Europe.

SafeNow , says: July 12, 2019 at 4:13 pm GMT

"Pedophile" is incorrect, as a commenter noted. The age cutoff is 13 for pedophilia. DSM-5. These escapades comprise different serious felonies. However, the Epstein colleagues can rest easy, if Rush's instinct about prosecuting Hillary is correct. Rush has said that prosecuting Hillary will not happen, because it would "roil" the nation. Same here. I expect to see a lot of MSM passive voice, and intransitive verbs, but no roiling. "The car drove off the side of the bridge."

jack daniels , says: July 12, 2019 at 4:13 pm GMT
@niteranger

Asimov's father once wrote a book called "The Sensuous Dirty Old Man." Hmm .

More seriously, did it ever occur to you that someone might want to know your source before accepting your claim that Mueller "supposedly classified Epstein as an informant"? Supposed by whom?? Eh????

Rurik , says: July 12, 2019 at 4:36 pm GMT
@Talha sh meat.

believes Epstein allegedly preyed on Araoz when she was 14 because she was vulnerable.

"She had just transferred to a new school and didn't know anybody," attorney Kimberly Lerner said in an interview. "She didn't have a father. Her mother was very poor. She was from a single-parent home. She was really struggling, and she wanted to be a model and an actress. He absolutely preyed upon the most vulnerable."

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/epstein-accuser-jennifer-araozs-lawyer-165000048.html

S , says: July 12, 2019 at 4:53 pm GMT
@Lou123 n Ring' which supposedly was providing child prostitutes to high level US politicians who in turn were then being blackmailed by the existence of surreptitious recordings having been made of these incidents by US intelligence agencies.

The below newspaper article explains what ultimately happened to the lead investigator of the case. Gary Caradori had been hired by the Nebraska state legislature to find out what had actually transpired regarding the alleged Nebraska based ring.

Needless to say his investigation was unexpectedly 'cut short'.

kiers , says: July 12, 2019 at 6:12 pm GMT
@Tired of Not Winning

What if .Acostoa is just a stooge, In fact he probably insisted on SOME jail time here. Otherwise the rest of the US "justice" system could care less. Even NYC is complicit. It's a snow job of theater, this democracy is. It's a joke. It only looks like a democracy on tv.

AnonFromTN , says: July 12, 2019 at 6:16 pm GMT

Mossad, CIA, FBI, MI5, who cares? All of these are criminal enterprises, just like the governments providing them cover and "legitimacy".

Really interesting aspect of any elite in-fighting is that it exposes an "uncomfortable truth" that there is only one elite running the show. That there is only Republicratic party, which regularly organizes (for the benefit of sheeple still believing in "democracy") puppet shows called elections, where ostensibly Democrats battle Republicans. In fact, both are just two hands of the same puppet master. That's why the same criminals are prominent at all "Republican" and "Democratic" functions.

The other thing that the story of that Epstein character clearly shows is that all those "respectable people" are nothing more than rich criminals, and the only reason they aren't in jail is that they have enough money to get away with any crime.

Bombercommand , says: July 12, 2019 at 6:23 pm GMT
@Talha refully scripted to identify girls who could be vulnerable to manipulation, have a chaotic family life, need money, need social connections for career advancement . The female procurer would report to Epstein and receive instructions to abandon or continue to recruit the "candidate". A female procurer is used as she will not arouse suspicion in a young girl. These are simple techniques that have been used for centuries worldwide. A father must cultivate a close relationship with his daughter, know when she is OK or not OK, and most importantly be an example of a quality man that his daughter will compare to every man she meets(being overprotective merely makes her more vulnerable).
Republic , says: July 12, 2019 at 6:35 pm GMT
@Mike from Jersey

If Epstein worked for Mossad, why wasn't he tipped off in Paris not to return to the US?

Israeli Intel is the best in the world. They knew about the secret grand jury and the indictment.

On a side note even if Epstein is convicted and jailed, there is a possibility that he could be secretly released.

In US penal history that has happened before.

JimDandy , says: July 12, 2019 at 6:41 pm GMT

Meh. Get ready for a tidal wave of MSM articles talking about how the deranged, alt-right internet conspiracy theorists are having a field day with the Epstein case, after which your average American moron will be programmed to just smirk and roll his eyes whenever the facts touched on in this article are brought up.

RobinG , says: July 12, 2019 at 6:56 pm GMT
@Patrikios Stetsonis

Well you 've got a point there

Yes, I do, but y'all seem to have missed it.

Talha , says: July 12, 2019 at 6:58 pm GMT
@Bombercommand

Ms. Aroaz's father was deceased before she met the female procurer

Well, then I take back what I said – obviously can't blame a dead man for not being there.

A father must cultivate a close relationship with his daughter, know when she is OK or not OK, and most importantly be an example of a quality man that his daughter will compare to every man she meets

Excellent points.

have a chaotic family life,

This seems key.

Peace.

niteranger , says: July 12, 2019 at 7:09 pm GMT
@jack daniels

Here's at least one link: https://goldfiremedia.net/2018/07/07/muellers-fbi-may-have-given-jeffrey-epstein-a-sweetheart-deal/

There are many more if you look them up! Mueller is a Bag Man in the intelligence agencies.

anonymous [375] Disclaimer , says: July 12, 2019 at 7:13 pm GMT
@Talha

Fathers are passé in America. Strong, intelligent wimmin are doing things for themselves.!

renfro , says: July 12, 2019 at 7:16 pm GMT
@Kartoffelstampfer

Agree.

If Epstein's tax returns aren't brought out /investigated in his trial then that means this trial will be another cover up.

niteranger , says: July 12, 2019 at 7:17 pm GMT
@Patrikios Stetsonis

I don't know if Giraldi is a plant or not. However, the first law of understanding "intelligence agents" or ex spooks is to always be suspicious of everyone. The group he belongs too seems legitimate enough but we have been set up before. I've be reading Giraldi a long time and he has a similar "theme" in every piece but he also leaves small things out that should be in his articles. The Devil is in the Details and man with his experience should be "Detailed Oriented."

He should know about Epstein and Muller and a few other things since this is the stock and trade of all intelligence agencies.

Alden , says: July 12, 2019 at 7:17 pm GMT
@Tired of Not Winning

Acosta did resign

Alden , says: July 12, 2019 at 7:21 pm GMT
@ChuckOrloski

Unless he had a recruiter pimp in Slovenia 40 years ago I doubt Melania was an Epstein girl.

Tired of Not Winning , says: July 12, 2019 at 7:38 pm GMT

The interesting thing about this case is, the left wants it exposed because they think it'll take down Trump, the right wants it exposed because they think it'll take down Bill Clinton. My guess is, more Dems will go down than Republicans. Trump was a Democrat and a big supporter of Clintons and Chuck Schumer before he decided to run as a GOP in 2016. He could've gone either way.

Sex scandals tend to plague the left, especially sexual perversions like porn, prostitution, child sex or gay sex. It's coz the left is dominated by Jews who are prone to sexual perversion, and also because liberals believe feelings and passion trump all, anything you do is not your fault as long as you are just following your feelings.

One reason Trump is so pro-Israel and hell bent on attacking Iran could be because the Jews have something on him, which is not too hard since he's been in business with them for a lifetime and is as unctuous and unscrupulous as any of them. They might be getting impatient with him on Iran and wants someone who can get the job done like Mike Pence to take over. Epstein could take down both Clinton and Trump, Clinton has outlived his usefulness to them since Hillary didn't win, he'll be the sacrificial lamb while they take out Trump for Pence.

ChuckOrloski , says: July 12, 2019 at 7:43 pm GMT
@Republic

Republic asked the following critical question which should not be cast away:
"If Epstein worked for Mossad, why wasn't he tipped off in Paris not to return to the US?"

! Mossad deception is sophisticated & patterns of telling a lie upon another improved lie ar characteristic.

Also, Mossad's implemented practices/techniques are adaptable to circumstances which seem supportive of what dumb goyim consider "justice served," but they actually benefit Israel.

A thought. I figure Epstein knew what fate awaited him prior to landing at Teterboro Airport tarmac.

Thanks & my respect, Republic.

Hillbob , says: July 12, 2019 at 7:48 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

ah mr AnonfromTN you are always so , so perspicacious

Alden , says: July 12, 2019 at 7:49 pm GMT
@NoseytheDuke

Well, Giraldi did work there and would have heard people complaining about the presence and influence of Israeli spies. Colonel Kiatowoski's book about the presence of Israeli spies in the Pentagon made it clear Pentagon personnel resented the Israeli spies but could do nothing about it.

We all know about workplace gossip and gripes.

Rurik , says: July 12, 2019 at 8:02 pm GMT
@Talha ing to a recently divorced man whose x-wife hates him (nothing new), and who has two teenage daughters. The x has poisoned the daughters against him, (nothing new), and because he was trying to be strident with his elder daughter vis-a-vis drugs, (nothing new), he now is not allowed to have any contact with them via the skewed courts, (nothing new).

They're doing a Weimar regime redux. That was the apex of their heyday, when the children of Germany were their playthings, and Berlin was a giant brothel- girls and boys for sale, especially the ones whose fathers had died in their holocaust that was WWI.

Such a deal!

Alden , says: July 12, 2019 at 8:05 pm GMT
@j2 has maybe 10 Israeli immigrants or American Jews who work for him. Each has 10-15 American Jews who can be called upon. So it's a wide network.

You're right that clerks secretaries accountants have great access to information. But the Israeli system is widespread. Plus, the information needn't always come from Jews.

It really does exist. There's an Israeli who hosts sabbath dinners in Los Angeles. He invites American Jews to be briefed on what's going on in Israel. I'm positive he also recruits agents in place he spots at those dinners. Guests who have no access to anything useful at least get to feel they're participating in the cause.

renfro , says: July 12, 2019 at 8:07 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN he only reason they aren't in jail is that they have enough money to get away with any crime.

True. And this Epstein coverage is bringing out more nooks and crannies of how the really rich control systems for their own benefit.

Like why was Epsteins tax rate on his NY mansion only 0.6% .why is Bill de Blasio tax rate on his mansion only 0.2% ..when other NY'ers taxrate is 12%.

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-edit-one-perverse-system-20190710-l7hryfwdd5gqndsyor3j5tsyiq-story.html

Kartoffelstampfer , says: July 12, 2019 at 8:08 pm GMT

@ChuckOrloski howed the original twelve members in indecent poses . At the entrance to the abbey, there was an inscription which read Fay ce que voudras – do what thou wilt – a term which Aleister Crowley borrowed nearly 200 years later. "

Ben Franklin likely would have been a prominent visitor to Little St. James, just as he was to West Wycombe in his day. Thomas Paine too.

PetrOldSack , says: July 12, 2019 at 8:25 pm GMT

There is regular sex and "deviation", pornography, pedophilia

There is drugs, illegal and legal, hard and soft

Then there is finance, always pimping, always on exploitation, abuse of minors, as young as not yet born, globally, and to be comitted legally. Pedophilia and drugs are soft core, barely leveling at the sock suspenders of our financiers.

A few hundred of the top tier Wall Street-ers belong in jail, as rats eating their own tail, they only can be administered there. Starting with Mnuchin. Epstein should be let alone, so he can decoy a little longer, and await his turn, pecking order obliges. Ah, the public sector, the ones with faces, real fungi are minding the dark.

Linked on this same site today, Michael Hudson, seems to attribute Empire and financial capitalism, debt, the demise of the dollar, to Trump. ?. Of all men, another scripted clown gets the blame. The shredding is spoiling the carpet.

If unz.com is so willingly pointing out the third liners, as Maya sacrifices to the deities in the shades, then there you have one more reason the rag is impervious to censorship.

Alden , says: July 12, 2019 at 8:27 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz

Gardner's and retail store clerks have personal phone numbers of the rich and famous. For instance, clerks at high end retail clothing stores are supposed to cultivate shoppers on a personal level so they can call them up with the great news of items they'd like to buy.

Actors producers directors numbers and home addresses can be obtained from people who work at their agents accountants PR and attorney offices

Police departments have access to all phone numbers. Most of the Find a Number websites don't have the private number of celebrities. But there are plenty of people who can access all the cell phone records.

It's not difficult

renfro , says: July 12, 2019 at 8:40 pm GMT

How to get away with blackmailing without blackmailing.

First, you need to recruit people in. Have lots of massive parties at your spacious home for wealthy men. Have lots of women mostly teens and under aged.

Sooner or later there will be some mingling going on. Some billionaire will get handsy and end up in a room with a girl ..and hidden cameras.

Epstein informs him later the girl was really 15, but offers him a nice, neat way to buy silence: a large allocation to his hedge fund, which charges 5% ..with power of attorney for himself.

To ease the pain for the black mailee Epstein puts the money in something as safe as treasury notes or money market fund.

Then Epstein collects his 'fees' ..x millions on the interest from treasury notes or etc..

Soooo no traceable blackmail payoff checks or wire transfers from his fellow pedos.

Epstein may also try this on other important political figures, mayors, prosecutors, etc. He doesnt blackmail them to 'invest' in his fund but has them in his pocket.

The evidence would probably be in a deposit box in his offshore Caribbean bank.